We’re going to test your knowledge on what to do when you see a spill on a floor. But don’t worry, we’re not grading you or anything.
Like most tests, the goal is to educate and this quiz should clarify the steps to take to ensure your safety, public safety, and rapid and effective spill clean-up.
You’ll find the answers below.
Ready? Ok, let’s begin:
1. As soon as you see a spill, you should?
a. Find a safety cone to place over or around the spill.
b. Stay near the spill and call a supervisor or cleaning worker to begin clean-up operations.
c. Block the area off and call a supervisor or cleaning worker to begin clean-up operations.
2. The difference between a “simple” spill and a “complex” spill is?
a. A simple spill is one you can clean up by yourself; a complex spill requires outside help and equipment.
b. A simple spill would be water or something similar; a complex spill typically refers to oils or chemicals.
c. Simple spills apply to just liquid spills; a complex spill might include liquids, grease, even sand and debris.
3. Before cleaning up a spill, you should?
a. Find out how it happened.
b. Find out what the spill is.
c. Pick up any solid debris such as glass.
4. The Environmental Protection Agency treats spills seriously because?
a. They can pollute the air, water, and soil.
b. Spills often result in slip and fall accidents.
c. If they happen on the job, they can interrupt workflow.
5. What protective gear is necessary when cleaning up a spill?
a. Gloves are usually all that are necessary.
b. Gloves and protective eye gear.
c. Best to wear a protective gown and gloves.
6. As to the actual clean-up operations, the first steps include the following:
a. Block off the area with safety cones; sweep up solid debris; mop the area.
b. Block off the area with safety cones; sweep up solid debris; use an OmniFlex™ AutoVac™ floor cleaning system to vacuum up the spill and then clean the area.
c. Block off the area with safety cones; sweep up solid debris; use an automatic scrubber to clean up the area.
Now for the answers:
1. (c) As soon as you see a spill, you should block the area off and call a supervisor or cleaning worker to begin clean-up operations. This will help prevent a slip and fall accident.
2. (a) The fundamental differences between a simple and complex spill are a bit complicated because there are various components; however, for our purposes, a simple spill is one you can clean up by yourself; a complex spill requires outside help.
3. (b) Before cleaning up a spill, you need to know what it is. It could be a hazardous material in which a hazardous clean-up crew may need to be called.
4. The answer here is all three. The EPA treats spills seriously because they can pollute; as many as half of all slips-and-falls are due to floor surfaces that have been altered in some way, usually with a spill; and interrupting workflow can become a hazard in some working situations.
5. (b) When a spill occurs, cleaning workers should wear gloves and goggles. While a gown will provide extra protection, our principal concerns here are protecting our hands and not getting liquids or chemicals in the eyes.
6. (b) or (c) As to the actual cleanup operation, cleaning workers can use a $899 AutoVac or $4,000 auto scrubber. That’s your choice.
Robert Kravitz is a former building service contractor, having owned, operated, and then sold three contract cleaning companies in Northern California.
He is the author of two books about the industry and continues to be a frequent writer for the industry.
Robert is now president of AlturaSolutions Communications, which provides communications and marketing services for organizations in the professional cleaning and building industries.