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General Description
Overview of Steps
Detailed Steps
Subject Experts
Chemical Spills

Document Number: EMER--111p Revision #: 1.0
Document Owner: Date Last Updated: 11/03/2015
Primary Author: Vice President for IT, Campus Services, and Security Status: Approved
Date Originally Created: 02/13/2012

General Description
Description / Scope:

Information about chemical spills relative to emergency services policies and procedures.


Delineation of procedure.

Who Performs / Responsibility: All faculty, staff, students, and administrators

When to Perform: As needed

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Pre-Knowledge: Before performing this task you must know:
Current University policy
Standards of good practice

Terms and Definitions: Additional training

Corrective Action

Equipment: Policy and Procedure Handbook

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Overview of Steps

Chemical Hazard Information


Clean-Up Procedures

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Detailed Steps

Chemical Hazard Information

How to Do:

The primary consideration for personnel when a chemical is spilled is safety.


a. All staff members have the right and responsibility to know what hazards are present when working with chemicals or materials.


b. Staff can obtain safety information sheets, commonly called Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS) from the Maintenance Department, the Science Laboratories (MH 3rd Floor), or Athletic Field houses.


MSDS contain information regarding:

· Exposure limits to disclose the chemical's toxicity

· Chemical flammability

· Which fire extinguisher to use in the event of a fire

· Safety precautions for use when handling


c. Response to a chemical spill can occur at various levels. In the laboratory setting, some spills may be cleaned up by the lab instructor. All spills must be reported to the Environmental Compliance Officer for the Sciences. The Vice President for IT, Campus Services, and Security and the Environmental Compliance Officer for the Sciences will determine if there is need to call in outside help to handle the spill.


Simple Spills

How to Do:

· Do not spread rapidly

· Do not endanger people or the environment.

· Can be managed safely by individuals trained in using the specific chemicals.


The chemistry laboratories (MH 302 and MH 303), the physics laboratory (MH 305), and the biology laboratory (MH 304) keep a supply of absorbents to clean up many spills.

1. Notify affected people

2. Obtain clean-up supplies

3. Determine the identity of the chemical spilled

4. Secure the area of the spill

5. Consult MSDS for specifications on chemical clean-up

6. Proceed in the spill clean-up as indicated in the MSDS sheets.


Major Spills

How to Do:

· Spread rapidly

· Involve a personal injury or significant property damage

· Could endanger people or the environment.


1. Dial 911. When reporting the spill, be specific about the nature of the involved material and exact location.

2. Evacuate and assemble staff and students in the immediate vicinity at a safe distance away from the spill.

3. Collect spill information from MSDS sheets in order to notify the personnel responding to the emergency.

4. Any spillage of a hazardous chemical is to be reported immediately to the Environmental Compliance Officer for the Sciences, Campus Security, and the Vice President for IT, Campus Services, and Security. If the spill is determined to be serious, the Wilson EmergencyManagement Agency will be called immediately.

5. The key person on the site should vacate the affected area at once and seal it off to prevent further contamination of other areas until arrival of safety personnel.

6. If evacuation of a building(s) is needed, follow evacuation procedures.



Recommended List of Clean-Up Materials and Supplies

How to Do:

1. 1 box polypropylene pads

2. 1 box activated charcoal

3. 1 box liquid acid neutralizer

4. 1 box liquid caustic neutralizer

5. 1 box heavy duty plastic trash bags

6. Hazardous waste labels

7. 1 gallon plastic container with lid

8. Dust pan and brush

9. Laboratory tongs


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Clean-Up Procedures

How to Do:

1. Acid, Caustic, or other non-Flammable Liquids

These are most easily absorbed with polypropylene pads. Place used pads in a trash bag. Frequently, laboratory spills will spread into drawers and behind or under equipment. The responder must be careful to locate all such contaminated areas.


2. Flammable Liquids

Flammable liquids should be absorbed on activated carbon. Use approximately 2 pounds of activated carbon per pint (0.5 liters) of liquid. Use the dust brush to thoroughly mix the activated carbon with the liquid. Use the dustpan and brush to collect all residue.


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Subject Experts
The following may be consulted for additional information.

Vice President for IT, Campus Services, and Security

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