Blog 8 “How to deal with incidents”
HBY: We talk a lot about prevention when working with dangerous goods. But you will also have experienced in your practice that something goes wrong. What are your experiences?
EH: Unfortunately, I’ve seen incidents. And some leave a lasting impression. The impact on people, animals and/or the environment can sometimes be catastrophic, which is why it is good to keep insisting on safety. Most of the incidents that I have seen are still caused by wrong or negligent human actions.
HBY: Do you have a “Top 5” occurrences? Knowledge of these situations is valuable to share, so that I and others can also learn something from them.
EH: The most common one is unfortunately taking the wrong product and connecting it to an application for which it is not suitable. For example, you should not think about using a cleaning agent for udder care. Not reading labels and ignorance are the main perpetrators here. I also see incidents during use. For example, when pouring over or picking up and putting down an open jerry can. In addition, spillage and subsequent failure to clean up is a regular occurrence. Finally, I would like to mention mixing chemicals. Often unintentionally, but one that can lead to all kinds of unwanted situations. In all these cases, things can get out of hand and it is necessary to react quickly.
HBY: That’s what it comes down to. To what extent are we as Lely prepared for such situations when using these type of dangerous goods?
EH: It’s not just a matter of us being prepared, but mainly our customers: dairy farmers worldwide. After all, that is the person who handles these dangerous goods. Our role is primarily to ensure that the products are delivered properly and fully documented. Then the responsibility really lies with the farmer, who can be prepared by simply having the tools at hand. Think of the safety data sheet, Lely chemical charts and first aid items and… common sense.
HBY: The dairy farmer is not a specialist in the field of these types of products and such incidents fortunately do not occur too often. What is your advice when it comes to moments when contamination or leakage does occur?
EH: Always secure your own safety first. Always! Then carry out the actions, such as rinsing, removing contaminated clothing and – if in doubt – consult a specialist. “What to do” can be found on the aforementioned safety data sheets, labels and Lely chemical charts.
HBY: But you’re talking about people now. How about animals?
EH: Good question, because strangely enough you don’t find that on any of those aforementioned documents. In case of contamination of animals, always consult your vet and call the Lely Center. They can in turn call the Lely hotline and call in specialists. Lely has protocols ready for these kinds of incidents. For people, animals and the environment.
HBY: Good to know! And I would like to add something to that from other experiences: do not wait too long but react immediately and always consult a specialist to be sure.