Introduction to this document

Liquid spillages

There are hazards and risks present when dealing with liquid spillages which, left unmanaged, could cause accidents and potentially put you on the wrong side of the law.

Managing the risks

To help you identify the hazards and appropriate ways of controlling them, use our example Risk Assessment - Liquid Spillages document. It covers the generic hazards associated with such work and suggests control measures to reduce risks to an acceptable level.

You should ensure your document only addresses “significant” hazards, i.e. any that could and more importantly are likely to, cause an accident or injury. For example, your risk assessment doesn’t need to cover activities such as the minor spillage of a cup of coffee, or anything similar (although you must have systems in place to deal with such incidents). 

Making your instructions clear

There is no point putting activities on the document that simply don’t need to be there.  Work to the principle that if there is any chance of your staff being unaware of the safe way of preventing spillages or clearing up such spillages, then you will need to make it clear on your document. Finally, always ensure any control measures you identify and follow only go so far “as is reasonably practicable”. 

Note. The list of potential hazards is not exhaustive as you are in the best position to know which products you use that are likely to be hazardous when spilled. For your risk assessment to be considered suitable and sufficient in the eyes of the law it must accurately reflect the “significant” hazards associated with the tasks found in your workplace.