Responding to Outdoor Chemical Spills

Policy

Category: Health Hazard Prevention and Management
Subject: Responding to Outdoor Chemical Spills
Division: N/A
Policy Number: CA.84.01.110
Effective Date: Apr. 2006

POLICY STATEMENT

It is the policy of Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph Public Health (WDGPH) to prevent or reduce the burden of illness and decrease heath outcomes from health hazards associated with chemical spills in accordance with the most current version of the Health Hazard and Prevention Protocol the Risk Assessment and Inspection of Facilities Protocol, and the Identification, Investigation and Management of Health Hazards Protocol under the Ontario Public Health Standards and the Health Protection and Promotion Act. Sewage outflow into the environment falls under the jurisdiction of the Ministry of the Environment.  Because of its health role, WDGPH will respond and attempt to respond to chemical spills that fall outside of the mandate of the Ministry of the Environment.

 

REFERENCES AND RELATED FORMS, POLICIES AND PROCEDURES

CA.84.02.110  Responding to Outdoor Chemical Spills
Health Hazard and Prevention Protocol
Risk Assessment and Inspection of Facilities Protocol
Identification, Investigation and Management of Health Hazards Protocol
Ontario Public Health Standards
Health Protection and Promotion Act

APPROVED BY

Robert Thompson 


Procedure

Category: Health Hazard Prevention and Management
Subject: Responding to Outdoor Chemical Spills
Division: N/A
Procedure Number: CA.84.02.110
Effective Date: Apr. 2006

PROCEDURE

  1. Follow the procedure CA.84.02.101 General Procedure for Investigating a Health Hazard Complaint.
  2. In investigating the complaint make a referral as appropriate to one or more of the following agencies:
  • Local Municipal Works Department;
  • Ministry of Environment Spills Action Centre (SAC) 1-800-268-6060; or
  • CANUTEC - 1-888-675-6863.
  1. All spills or accidental discharges of potentially hazardous substances to the environment must be reported immediately to the MOE Spills Action Centre (SAC).  SAC initiates and coordinates the environmental response to spill reports. 
  2. The Public Health Inspector (PHI) shall identify him/herself to the owner/operator and state the reason for the visit. The owner/operator or designate present is provided the opportunity to accompany the PHI during the inspection.
  3. Use the CSR electronic form in Hedgehog to conduct the inspection.  Refer to the Hedgehog User Manual as required.
  4. Document if the notification is from the public, SAC, County or Municipality or a First Responder (Police, Fire, EMS)
  5. Ensure the appropriate agencies have been contacted as listed below:
  • SAC;
  • Transportation accident - Transport Can: CANUTEC; and
  • Police, fire, local municipality.
  1. If caller is experiencing health symptoms advise to seek medical attention.
  2. Collect information pertinent to risk assessment i.e. product involved, volume, how did it start, whether there are high-risk premises in vicinity, etc.
  3. If an immediate health hazard is suspected, or if spill is determined to be of major significance, notify Manager/Director, Health Protection as soon as possible regarding on-site assessment.
  4. Attend site as required and document spill status, potential impact on well water supplies and watercourses, contacts made and actions taken.
  5. Report back to Manager/Director, Health Protection (or MOH) from the scene.
  6. If water sampling is required (liaise with MOE, or first responders on site):
  • Notify Public Health lab;
  • Ensure upstream, downstream and source samples are taken;
  • Ensure submission form is properly labeled –‘Non-drinking Water’ and full name and contact number is included;
  • Wear gloves and appropriate footwear to avoid contact with spill material; and
  • Place samples in a biohazards bag.

REFERENCES AND RELATED FORMS, POLICIES AND PROCEDURES

CA.84.01.110  Responding to Outdoor Chemical Spills
CA.84.02.101 General Procedure for Investigating a Health Hazard Complaint

APPROVED BY

Robert Thompson