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Chemical Spill

The amount and hazard of the agent involved will determine the appropriate response to a spill or exposure.

A major Haz-Mat spill is when: A minor Haz-Mat spill is when:
  • An agent is flammable, reactive or highly toxic.
  • Someone has been exposed to the agent.
  • The spill is greater than 1 liter.
  • Too much of an agent has been spilled for the amount of absorbent in the classroom.
  • Less than 1 liter of agent is spilled.
  • The agent has a low to moderate hazard.
  • No one has been exposed to the agent.
  • Classroom faculty/staff have sufficient equipment and training to clean up the spill.

If immediate assistance is needed contact 911 immediately. If immediate assistance is not required, but there is any doubt about in your ability to clean up a spill, contact Physical Plant for assistance.

The response depends upon knowledge of the hazards present at the spill. If the agent and hazards are unknown contact 911 to assess the situation.

Chemical Event Prevention

Due diligence in all handling, storage and use of hazardous chemicals is essential in the prevention of on-campus hazardous chemical incidents. Proper training of all personnel that handle chemicals is paramount to preventing incidents. All personnel that handle hazardous chemical on campus will receive initial and annual training on the proper use and storage of those chemical. All faculty and staff will receive annual training on hazardous chemical awareness.

Haz-Mat Spill Response and Clean-up Procedures

In the event of a major or unknown spill:

  • Protect yourself and others. Shut off any ignition sources and stop the source of spill if you can do so without endangering yourself.
  • The staff member on site will determine, by the nature of the spill, if evacuation of the room is warranted. If the spill requires evacuation, this will be done promptly and 911 will be contacted for assistance.
    • Provide your name
    • Specific location of the spill
    • Name of the substance spilled
    • Quantity of spill
  • Emergency responders will respond and request assistance of University staff as needed. The first response will be to remove students and employees to safety and secure the affected area. A building evacuation may result if the agent:
    • Creates a fire, or there is a potential for fire
    • The spill is flowing outside of the room
    • Fumes or odors are permeating the building
  • Whenever possible, responders will consult the SDS (Safety Data Sheet) of the spilled agent before entering the affected area. Based on the SDS information the responding parties may decide that the Fire Department Hazardous materials Unit is required.
  • If the spill is determined not to be hazardous, trained staff using appropriate personal protective equipment will contain and clean the spill-If the spill is determined to be hazardous the Emergency Response agency will be consulted to determine the best route to mitigate the hazard which may include a private contractor.
  • The Emergency Response Incident Commander will determine when the space may be returned over to University Officials, the University EOC/Incident manager will determine when and how it will be re-occupied.
  • Complete an incident report.

In the event of a minor Haz-Mat spill:

  • Protect yourself and others. Avoid direct contact with the spilled agent. Wear protective clothing such as gloves and goggles during clean up. Treat all agents as if they are hazardous.
  • Contain the spill and secure the area. Cordon off the spill area; do not walk through, or allow others to walk through the spilled material.
  • If properly trained, clean up the spill using the Haz-Mat spill kit. If not, contact Physical Plant.
  • Dispose of the material in the approved waste container.
  • Clean up. Wash hands thoroughly, even if there is no visible contamination.
  • Ensure the Haz-Mat spill kit and all other personal protective equipment is replaced.
  • Complete an incident report.