Mercury spill from package shuts UPS center in Perry Township

Discussion in 'The Latest UPS Headlines' started by cheryl, Feb 18, 2009.

  1. cheryl

    cheryl I started this. Staff Member

    Mercury spill from package shuts UPS center in Perry Township - Canton Rep

    Investigators are trying to find what led to a mercury spill Wednesday inside the United Parcel Service distribution center, prompting the package delivery company to temporarily close.

    “We did have an incident involving mercury,” said Alison Lamirand of the UPS Cleveland-area regional office. “We have a designated response system that was put in place. We are still working with a response team to make sure the facility is free of contaminants.”
  2. rushfan

    rushfan Well-Known Member

    Finally a mercury spill worth cleaning up. We've had a few around here at a school and private property where 1/4 ml of mercury was spilled and they closed the school. People are too damn paranoid.
  3. mattwtrs

    mattwtrs Retired Senior Member

    I remember back in the 60's when kids would buy thermometers just to break them to play with the mercury. I don't know if any of them suffered any long term effects cause my family moved from the area in 1970.
  4. freeloader

    freeloader geek

    Good luck with that.
  5. drewed

    drewed Shankman

    Its a EPA thing....It doesnt say an amount it very well could be a broken thermometer.....hope you never have to go through a cleanup our DM told us about one he went through gotta strip down shower get wanded naked and all of clothes get wanded....If you ever have a spill at your building stop all progress, dont move tell your coworkers not to move and daisy chain the message down to a sup about whats going on.
  6. SpicyItalian739

    SpicyItalian739 New Member

    Hey guys, I frequently read the boards here but thought I'd sign up to give you some more details about this spill.

    First of all I live about an hour from the Center in question and last night our Sup called us together for an interesting PCM.

    First of all the package contained somewhere around 20 POUNDS of mercury and possibly about 17 lbs leaked out of the package. It came from a customer counter (the customer lied about the contents) and came in on a trailer for unload and delivery--but was already leaking when the unloader got to it in the trailer.

    This unloader decided to unload a CLEARLY leaking package which contaminated the rollers and other parcels in the trailer, contaminated the unloader himself (probably from what we were told), contaminated the motorized unload device (wish we had those), and contaminated the main belt.

    From here a loader pulled the leaking package off the main belt and loaded it into a package car. I think this is the point where they finally figured out that it MIGHT be a good idea to stop the progress of the package. Once 17 lbs. of mercury had been spread throughout the entire operation including 3 employees. I believe the innuendo was that the employees DID come in contact with the mercury but UPS is downplaying this for local media in Canton.

    Yes the facility was shut down for only 24 hours but we were told that the outside responders worked 24 hours straight to get the spill cleaned up in a day and that the total cost of the cleanup was about $500,000. I don't think this is UPS bullcrap as usual because our Sup is a pretty good guy and most of us hang out with him outside of work. On top of the cleanup fee, parcels and equipment were removed and operations were shut down for an entire day leading to a final cost that may top $1,000,000. That's one MILLION dollars (insert Dr. Evil laugh here).

    All because some geniuses couldn't be bothered to remember the three steps that they drill into your head daily from the day you start at UPS. Don't touch. Leave the area. Notify a Superviser. It really isn't THAT hard.

    If the employees had done that, they could have thrown tape up on the contaminated trailer and had it pulled by the responders and continued operations.

    Again... 17 lbs. of mercury spilled. Don't believe them when they tell you no employee had contact, 3 did.
  7. bluehdmc

    bluehdmc Well-Known Member

    I was at a building once that a 26' package car (box truck) had a package that was smoking. I believe this is also a "notify supervisor, leave the area" thing.
    Well, they pulled truck outside to pallet dock, and unloaded the truck to get to the smoking package. This was all done before the fire dept arrived on the scene. I'm sure they were "heroes" because a bigger catastrophe was averted but I'm sure it would have be quite a different story if the whole truck had caught fire or something.
    Last edited: Feb 21, 2009
  8. cachsux

    cachsux Wah

    I remember the good ol days when we worked PSC and anything that leaked got poured into a bucket and when it was 3/4 full we dumped kitty litter into it to absorb the liquids and the chucked it into the garbage dumpster.
  9. toonertoo

    toonertoo Most Awesome Dog Staff Member

    WElcome to Browncafe Spicy Italian!
    Seems the fire dept was a little miffed they were not called. I live about an hour from there also. And I only heard about it when our safety guy was talking about it at check in.
    Did UPS not call EPA at all? I think the hazmat team would be called first to secure the area, then the FD? seems like the FD would have been called to be on hand. Were there balls dropped along the way? DID anyone know what it was, and how would they know? Did we have a Mercury cop on duty who knew what it was. Did LP know what it was? I dont know what it is or looks like. Sounds like lots of guessing going on, to keep things quiet. It isnt like it was UPS fault, but dont the counters inspect packages? Dont they have to be opened to be inspected if brought to a counter? I always thought that was kinda dumb since drivers have to take pkgs from people off the street with no ?'s asked.
    How really serious is mercury, isnt it in fish we eat? Because of pollution. What exactly would it be used for, and who would use that much? Just a few questions.
    And what has been most of the responses to leaking packages while on route when you call in a leaking package?
  10. Big Babooba

    Big Babooba Well-Known Member

  11. drewed

    drewed Shankman

  12. UPSNewbie

    UPSNewbie New Member

    That's where the Brits get their "mad as hatters" saying.

    [​IMG] <- This is mercury