IT is important to be prepared for unexpected leaks or spills in store, during transport or in the field.
The storage protocol used by BASIS-registered stores is a good example for farmers to follow, since it is in line with Green Code requirements, notes BASIS technical executive officer, Rob Simpson.
"They must have suitable personal protective equipment, a large fluid retaining vessel for leakers, inert containment material such as sand – not sawdust – a brush and shovel, and heavy duty plastic bags to put contaminated material in. And most important, labels are needed to identify the contents of the bags and containers."
When tackling a spill or leak assess the product hazard and decide what ppe is required, he advises. Then control liquid spills by ringing them with absorbent material and in-filling to soak up the liquid.
Shovel the contaminated absorbent into a heavy duty plastic bag or container and label it. Powdered products must be swept up and bagged with care to avoid creating a dust. "A respirator is usually essential," advises Mr Simpson.
When transporting chemicals to the field secure them carefully and avoid punctures by ensuring there are no nails in the trailer floor. Never take packs in the tractor cab.
When filling the sprayer, work on a flat surface, open packs as they are needed and when using part packs, fill the measuring jug in an open container so any spill can be washed into the sprayer. A large half drum under the induction hopper can be used to catch any accidental spillage.
If you spill product on the soil, dig out the contaminated soil, bag it and get it collected by an authorised specialist waste contractor. Never wash spills in, especially near ground or surface water. *
• Keep absorbent material, brush & shovel at hand.
• Keep a supply of heavy duty bags.
• Readily available ppe is needed.
• Label contaminated material and store it in a bunded area.
• Get authorised specialist waste contractor to collect.