Hazardous Material Leaks & Spills
Hazardous substances pose a significant threat to health and safety by their very nature and require an emergency response regardless of the circumstances surrounding the release. Any one of the following criteria designates an emergency situation:
A. The situation is unclear to the person causing or discovering the spill:
- The release requires evacuation of persons.
- Fire, suspected fire, explosion or other imminent danger.
- Conditions that are immediately dangerous to life and health without direct contact.
- High levels of exposure to toxic substances.
- Endangering the environment (e.g.- by entering the sewer or soil).
B. If the spill meets the definition of an emergency as described above, execute the following:
- Pull the fire alarm.
- Call 911 from a safe location.
- Contact Public Safety at ext. 8344.
- Isolate the spill area and close doors to the room where the spill occurred.
- Remove ignition sources and shut down equipment.
- Establish exhaust ventilation to the outside of the building only.
C. Contaminated persons:
- Isolate them to avoid contaminating others, BUT keep them in the immediate area.
- Obtain names for emergency personnel.
- First aid and decontamination will begin as soon as possible.
D. Lab instructors or supervisors:
- Evacuate an affected area immediately.
- Seal it off to prevent further contamination.
Remember... Stay calm. Help others remain calm. When you are reporting an emergency situation give concise, accurate answers to the 911 operator. Do not hang up until told to do so. Public Safety phone number is 488-8344—on campus ext. 8344.