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Hazardous materials


When a spill does occur, it is necessary to take prompt and appropriate action.

Major spill procedures

  • Notify others in your area that a spill has occurred.
  • Evacuate the room, floor or building as necessary. Do not hesitate to pull the fire alarm if necessary to evacuate the building.
  • Call 911 from a campus phone to report the spill.
  • For flammable materials, turn off all ignition sources.
  • Close doors to the area where the spill occurred.
  • Limit access to the area.
  • Stand by the area outside the building until help arrives, a minimum of 300 feet away.
  • Report the spill to your supervisor and to Environmental Health and Safety at x3150.

Provide the following when reporting a spill:

  • Personal injuries, if any
  • Location of the spill (building and room number)
  • Name of material(s) involved (spell clearly and slowly)
  • The amount of material spilled
  • Immediate actions taken
  • How spill occurred (if known or suspected)
  • Who first noticed spill and at what time
  • Call-back number(s)

Minor spill procedures:

  • Notify others in the area that a spill has occurred.
  • Prevent others from coming in contact with the spilled chemical(s).
  • Wear proper personal protective equipment (PPE) such as goggles, gloves, etc. before cleanup.
  • Try tp prevent spilled chemicals from entering waterways by building a dike around the access points (sink, cup sinks, floor and outside storm drains). Spread absorbent material on and around the spill to absorb the chemical(s).
  • Sweep up the absorbed spill from the outside toward the middle. Scoop up and deposit in a leak-proof container. Label and dispose of the container through the hazardous waste management program.
  • Wash the contaminated surface with soapy water. Report the spill to Environmental Health and Safety at x3150 and to your supervisor.

Fluorescent light fixtures/PCB awareness--spills of leaks from fluorescent light fixtures:

  • Caution! Light fixtures manufactured prior to 1980 may have ballasts that contain polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) or mercury.
  • Isolate the leak/spill area to prevent people from coming in contact with the spilled material.
  • Contact Facilities Services at x3200 for cleanup by trained campus personnel.