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Section 3: Emergency Procedures


For any emergency, including fires, chemical spills, injuries, accidents, explosions, and medical emergencies, dial 2222 from any University phone or by using the blue-light emergency phones, located in common areas throughout campus. If a University phone is unavailable or inaccessible during an emergency, dial (254) 710-2222 from a cell phone. Baylor PD personnel will respond, determine whether additional assistance is needed and alert others who can help.

All accidents must be reported to the department of Risk Management and copied to the department of Environmental Health and Safety on an Incident Report Form. Services provided by Risk Management can be found on the web under Risk Management.


Fire

In the event of a fire, Baylor PD should be notified immediately at 2222 from a campus phone or (254) 710-2222 from a cellular phone and the following actions are recommended:

    Fire Extinguisher

  1. Individuals are not required to fight fires; but that those who choose to do so may fight small, incipient stage fires (no bigger than a wastepaper basket) as long as they have been trained in the proper use of fire extinguishers.

    • If you have been trained in the use of a fire extinguisher, fight the fire from a position where you can escape, only if you are confident that you will be successful.
    • A fire contained in a small vessel can usually be suffocated by covering the vessel with a lid of some sort.

  2. If your clothing catches fire, drop to the floor and roll to smother the fire. If a co-worker’s clothing catches fire, get the person to the floor and roll him or her to smother the flames. Use a safety shower immediately thereafter.
  3. If the fire is large or spreading, activate the fire alarm to alert building occupants. If the fire alarm does not work, or if the building is not equipped with one, notify the building occupants verbally of the need to evacuate. If possible, shut down any equipment which may add fuel to the fire. Do not turn off any hoods in the immediate area, as they will tend to keep the area free from smoke and fumes. Close the door behind you to prevent the fire’s spread.
  4. Evacuate the building and await the arrival of Baylor PD. Be prepared to inform them of the exact location, details of the fire, and chemicals that are stored and used in the area.
  5. Do not re-enter the building until you are told to do so by Baylor PD or the municipal fire official.

There are several types of fire extinguishers available. See the Fire Extinguisher Advisory to determine which type is best for a particular chemical or procedure


Medical Emergencies

In the event of any injury or illness where assistance is needed, contact Baylor PD at 2222 or (254) 710-2222. If an ambulance is needed, PD will arrange for one. Public Safety staff can transport individuals with minor injuries to the Student life Center as appropriate.

First Aid Kits

First Aid Kits maintained by University departments and offices must:

  • be kept in sanitary condition;
  • be limited to simple household supplies such as band-aids and sterile gauze pads; and
  • include at least one pair of large size examination or laboratory gloves.


Chemical Exposures

The following procedures should be followed in the event of chemical exposure. In all cases, the incident should be reported to your laboratory manager, supervisor or principal investigator, regardless of severity. Consult your supervisor to determine whether or not an Incident Report Form form should be completed.

Chemicals on Skin or Clothing

  1. Immediately flush with water for no less than 15 minutes (except for Hydrofluoric Acid, Flammable Solids or >10% Phenol). For larger spills, the safety shower should be used.
  2. While rinsing, quickly remove all contaminated clothing or jewelry. Seconds count. Do not waste time because of modesty.
  3. Use caution when removing pullover shirts or sweaters to prevent contamination of the eyes.
  4. Check the Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS) to determine if any delayed effects should be expected.
  5. Discard contaminated clothing or launder them separately from other clothing. Leather garments or accessories cannot be decontaminated and should be discarded.

Do not use solvents to wash skin. They remove the natural protective oils from the skin and can cause irritation and inflammation. In some cases, washing with a solvent may facilitate absorption of a toxic chemical.

For flammable solids on skin, first brush off as much of the solid as possible, then proceed as described above.

For hydrofluoric acid on skin, rinse with water for 5 minutes. Apply 2.5% calcium gluconate gel, a tube for your lab can be obtained prior through EHS. If not readily available, continue rinsing for 15 minutes. In all cases, seek medical attention immediately.

For phenol concentrations more than 10%, flush with water for 15 minutes or until the affected area turns from white to pink. Apply a solution of 400 molecular weight polyethylene glycol, if available. Do not use ethanol. Proceed as described above.

Chemicals in Eyes

  1. Immediately flush eye(s) with water for at least fifteen minutes. The eyes must be forcibly held open to wash, and the eyeballs must be rotated so all surface area is rinsed. The use of an eye wash fountain is desirable so hands are free to hold the eyes open. If an eyewash is not available, pour water on the eye, rinsing from the nose outward to avoid contamination of the unaffected eye.
  2. Remove contact lenses while rinsing. Do not lose time removing contact lenses before rinsing. Do not attempt to rinse and reinsert contact lenses.
  3. Seek medical attention regardless of the severity or apparent lack of severity. If an ambulance or transportation to the Student life center or the hospital is needed, contact Baylor PD at 2222 or (254) 710 2222. Explain carefully what chemicals were involved. If easily accessible, bring an MSDS.

Chemical Inhalation

Chemical Inhalation

  1. Close containers, open windows or otherwise increase ventilation, and move to fresh air.
  2. If symptoms, such as headaches, nose or throat irritation, dizziness, or drowsiness persist, seek medical attention by calling Baylor PD. Explain carefully what chemicals were involved.
  3. Review the MSDS to determine what health effects are expected, including delayed effects.

Accidental Ingestion of Chemicals

  1. Immediately contact Baylor PD and/or contact the Poison Control Center at 800-962-1253 for instructions.
  2. Do not induce vomiting unless directed to do so by a health care provider.

Accidental Injection of Chemicals

Wash the area with soap and water and seek medical attention, if necessary.


Emergency Information Posters

Most laboratories or chemical storage areas must have a complete Emergency Information Poster affixed on or near each entrance to the room. Laboratory workers must review the poster for accuracy every twelve months and replace it as necessary and at least every two years.

The following information should be supplied on every poster:

  • Lab Supervisor/PI - List those who are most familiar with the activities in the room.
  • Potential Hazards - Hazardous materials found in the room should be identified and listed on the poster when quantities exceed the threshold levels.
  • Date Posted/Updated - Posters should be reviewed to insure all information is current and initialed at six month intervals, and replaced every two years.
  • Special Hazards - This allows comments by the user on material, storage conditions, unusual hazards, etc.

The purpose of the Emergency Information Poster is to provide an easily recognizable and consistent means of displaying essential information about the status and contents of laboratories and facilities, primarily for the benefit of persons attempting to cope with an explosion, fire, natural disaster, or other emergency. Such information is important for the safety of emergency personnel and is often of considerable value in evaluating and dealing with the emergency.

In the absence of current and accurate information, responders may take an extremely conservative approach to handling the emergency and the response may become disproportionate to the actual hazard. This may lead to a delayed response that could result in an emergency of greater magnitude or, at the very least, lengthen the disruption of normal activities.

During an emergency, the poster may be used as the primary source of information about a room or space. Therefore, the information on the poster should be complete and accurate.

Conact EH&S if you have questions or need assistance with the emergency posting for your area.


Reporting Accidents and Injuries

All accidents, injuries, or near-misses should be reported to your supervisor or Principal Investigator.

If a laboratory worker believes that he or she has been over-exposed to a chemical, the worker or supervisor should contact EHS at 710-2900, regardless of whether or not signs or symptoms are noted. EHS will contact the individual and lab manager to conduct an incident investigation.

Baylor University EHS encourages a culture of reporting all incidents and near misses. Incident investigations are conducted to work towards safer working environments and practices. These investigations are not to assign blame or responsibility for an accident.


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