Spills can be classified as either a minor clean-up procedure or a major spill. Minor clean-up procedures do not expose laboratory employees to any additional chemical exposures and should be cleaned up immediately by the laboratory staff wearing the appropriate personal protective equipment.
Major spill clean-up should not be attempted by laboratory personnel.
- For chemical or biological spills, call Security Services at x13 from any University phone. From a cell phone or other non-University phone, dial 275-3333.
- For radiological contamination, call Radiation Safety at x53781.
- If the problem is unclear, call x13. From a cell phone or other non-University phone, dial 275-3333.
In the event of a spill, the following general procedures are to be followed:
- Survey the situation for the potential hazards present before approaching a spill area.
- If possible, attend to anyone who may have been contaminated.
- Notify persons in the immediate area about the spill.
- Evacuate non-essential personnel from the spill area.
- Close the door.
- Untrained laboratory personnel are not to clean up spills.
- If the spill material is flammable, turn off ignition and heat sources.
- Avoid breathing vapors of the spilled material.
- Leave the local exhaust ventilation (fume hoods, etc.) on.
- Notify the principal investigator if a regulated substance is involved.
The following is emergency preplanning to follow prior to working with toxic chemicals:
- Determine the potential location of releases.
- Determine the quantities of material that may be released.
- Know the chemical and physical properties of the material (physical state, vapor pressure, air or water reactivity).
- Know the hazardous properties of the material (toxicity, reactivity, corrosivity, flammability)
- Have available the personal protective equipment that may be needed.
The Industrial Hygiene Unit offers more information about chemical and biological agents, and other health hazards.