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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:

  1. Survey the situation for the potential hazards present before approaching a spill area.
  2. If possible, attend to anyone who may have been contaminated.
  3. Notify persons in the immediate area about the spill.
  4. Evacuate non-essential personnel from the spill area.
  5. Close the door.
  6. Untrained laboratory personnel are not to clean up spills.
  7. If the spill material is flammable, turn off ignition and heat sources.
  8. Avoid breathing vapors of the spilled material.
  9. Leave the local exhaust ventilation (fume hoods, etc.) on.
  10. Notify the principal investigator if a regulated substance is involved.

The following is emergency preplanning to follow prior to working with toxic chemicals:

  1. Determine the potential location of releases.
  2. Determine the quantities of material that may be released.
  3. Know the chemical and physical properties of the material (physical state, vapor pressure, air or water reactivity).
  4. Know the hazardous properties of the material (toxicity, reactivity, corrosivity, flammability)
  5. 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.

Last modified: Wednesday, 05-Jun-2013 15:41:48 EDT