National Oil and Hazardous Substance Pollution Contingency Plan Click to Enlarge
Introduction to Oil Spill Cleanup
National Oil and Hazardous Substance Pollution Contingency Plan
This is the federal government's blueprint for responding to both oil spills and hazardous substance releases. The National Oil and Hazardous Substance Pollution Contingency Plan is the result of the
country's efforts to develop a national response capability and promote overall coordination among the hierarchy of responders and contingency plans.
Review your employer's health and safety plans before starting work.
Health and Safety Plans
OSHA has regulations that require employers to have detailed Health and Safety Plans to protect workers involved in cleanup operations. The Health and Safety Plan serves as a guide for employers and
workers to follow during their daily operations to prevent the spread of contamination, injury, and death.
All Health and Safety Plans must cover the following:
- Key Personnel
- Hazard Assessment
- Temperature Extremes
- Medical Surveillance
- Exposure Monitoring and Air Sampling
- Site Control
- Emergency Response/Contingency Plan
- Emergency Action Plan
- Confined Space Entry
- Spill Containment
OSHA's HAZWOPER Standard
- Activities related to stopping the oil spill or containing the spilled oil are considered "emergency response" activities under OSHA's Hazardous Waste Operations and Emergency Response (HAZWOPER)
standard, 29 CFR 1910.120 and 1926.65.
- In addition, cleanup sites may be considered or may become hazardous waste sites and should follow the requirements for hazardous waste sites under HAZWOPER, requiring specific training and control
measures, if certain criteria apply. Shoreline cleanup is considered "post-emergency clean-up operations."
- Furthermore, if HAZWOPER conflicts or overlaps with any other OSHA standard, the provision more protective of employee safety and health must be followed.
HAZWOPER Requirements that Apply to Marine Oil Spills
- Marine oil spill cleanup is organized and managed according to the regulations found in the National Oil and Hazardous Substance Pollution Contingency Plan (NCP) at 40 CFR 300.
- Response actions conducted under the NCP must comply with the provisions of HAZWOPER.
- See specifically the HAZWOPER provisions in paragraph (q) (Emergency response operations) and paragraph (q)(11) Post-emergency response cleanup operations.
Proper Instruction for Cleanup Workers
Training is important. To work in the cleanup, workers must be trained on the hazards of their job in a language that they understand. Workers must be trained before they begin oil spill response and
All oil spill cleanup workers should be trained in the following:
- An initial briefing utilizing the Site Safety Plan or National Incident Management System (NIMS) assignment form at the site prior to their participation
- A briefing on emergency procedures under the site-specific Health and Safety Plan (HASP)
- Instruction in the wearing of appropriate personal protective equipment
- Information on what health hazards from oil and other chemicals might be encountered
- Explanation of what duties are to be performed
- Chain of command
- Instruction on the decontamination procedures to be followed
- All other appropriate safety and health precautions
Hazardous Materials and Hazard Communication
- Specific Hazard Communication training is required on the hazards from the oil and from any hazardous materials being used.
- Safety Data Sheets (SDS) must be available for all hazardous materials. Review them and follow as appropriate.
- Warning labels, such as NFPA 704M may be found on chemical containers being used.
- Do not handle unmarked unlabeled containers.
Oil is a single substance, but there actually are many different kinds of oil. Kinds of oil differ from each other in their viscosity, volatility, and toxicity.
Viscosity refers to an oil's resistance to flow.
Volatility refers to how quickly the oil evaporates into the air.
Toxicity refers to how toxic, or poisonous, the oil is to either people or other organisms.
When spilled, the various types of oil can affect the environment differently. They also differ in how hard they are to clean up.
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