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How to deal with hydrocarbon spills

| May 2, 2016 | Workers' Compensation |

Some New York employers as well as their workers may grapple with a solution for containing hydrocarbon spills in a safe and environmentally sustainable way. Outdoor equipment tends to create drips and leaks that can create a slip and fall hazard, and some work sites find that they have no good way of dealing with them. One solution is to use buckets to collect the spillage, but this requires monitoring and disposal. Those same buckets also collect precipitation, and when they spill over, the hydrocarbons that have risen to the top create another fall danger as well as being toxic to the environment.

A better solution is absorbent pads. These can be placed quickly and are safe for workers to walk on, but they can be a problem if precipitation is heavy because they quickly become saturated and need changes. They are also prone to blow away in windy conditions.

A class of products called spilltration have solved some of these challenges. They are water-permeable, so rainwater soaks through while hydrocarbons are still collected. This helps keep them from becoming too saturated. They can be wrung out and reused as well, and their heavier base means they are less likely to blow away in windy conditions.

A workplace accident caused by a spill is not uncommon, and those who are injured as a result may be eligible for workers’ compensation. The receipt of benefits is not contingent on who is at fault in the accident, but an employer might pressure a worker to avoid filing. People who are feeling intimidated by an employer may want to have legal assistance when dealing with the matter.

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