Hazardous Materials Emergency Response Procedures

There are a number of hazardous materials located in various campus buildings.  Use and transfer of these materials could result in an accidental spill, and prompt response is required to protect persons, property and the environment.

What are Hazardous Materials?

Generally, hazardous materials are chemicals that have a significant odor, and are flammable, caustic, or acidic.  There are exceptions, but industrial and laboratory chemicals have a variety of labels that specifically identify the hazard.  There are hazardous materials that don't meet these definitions, such as household chemicals marked Use with Caution or Keep Away from Children.  Medical materials (sharps, including needles and scalpels) and biohazards are also hazardous materials found on campus.

When in doubt, assume that any spilled material is hazardous and report it - it is better to err on the side of caution than to fail to report a hazardous spill.  If you have any questions about materials on campus, please call the Environmental Health and Safety office.


If the spill is outside of a building

  • Contact the Department of Public Safety at ext. 3111 or 255-3111 to report the nature and location of the spill.

If there is a strong odor or fumes caused by a spill inside a building

  • Pull the nearest fire alarm to evacuate the building.  Notify those in immediate danger.  Have someone contact the Department of Public Safety at ext. 3111 or 255-3111 to report the nature and location of the spill.
  • If possible and safe to do so after initiating the fire alarm, attempt to assist an individual who has been contaminated by escorting them to the nearest emergency shower without contaminating yourself.
  • If the individual is seriously injured, let properly trained and equipped emergency response personnel handle the situation.  Do not become another victim.
  • If possible and safe to do so after initiating the fire alarm, attempt to identify the chemical from the container label.
    • Never enter the area where the chemical can get on you, your clothes, or your shoes.
    • No matter how small the spill never attempt to clean it up without proper protective equipment and training.
    • If you cannot cover or control the spill, leave the area and let the professionals handle it.
  • Do not prop open any fire doors.  (Fire doors have automatic closers on them.)  Close any doors in the immediate area to control access to the spill area.

REPORTING

After contacting Public Safety, and after meeting with the University Police, contact your supervisor.