Procedures and Guidelines
Minor spills of hazardous chemicals that pose little or no threat to the safety and health of personnel can be cleaned by competent departmental personnel by following the warning and cautions signs on the container’s label or manufacturer’s safety data sheet (SDS). A hazardous material emergency exists when cleanup of a spill of hazardous material is beyond the level of knowledge, training, or the ability of the staff in the immediate spill area or the spill creates a situation that is immediately dangerous to the life and health of persons in the spill area or facility.
Hazardous Materials Spill Response Procedures
- Alert people in the immediate area of the spill and evacuate the room.
- Confine the hazard by closing doors and windows as you leave the room.
- If possible, shut down heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) systems.
- Use eyewash or safety showers as needed to rinse spilled chemicals off persons.
- Evacuate any nearby rooms that may be affected. If the hazard will affect the entire building, evacuate the building. If a volatile, flammable material is spilled, immediately warn everyone, and control sources of ignition.
- Notify the LU Emergency Communications of the name of hazardous material, location of the spill, size of the spill, number of injured persons (if any), and any environmental concerns, such as the location of storm drains or streams by calling (434) 592-3911 or 911. You will need to provide your name and a telephone number and be prepared to spell the name of the hazardous materials involved. Always call from a safe location.
- Report all spills to your supervisor, LUPD, or to Liberty’s Environmental Health & Safety Office.
Procedures for laboratory personnel to handle chemical, biological, or radiological spills are provided in laboratory-specific documentation. Trained laboratory personnel are authorized by the Environmental Health & Safety Office to determine appropriate emergency response measures for their areas.