Section 8: Spill/Emergency Procedures

In the event of a chemical spill, the individual(s) who caused the spill is responsible for prompt and proper clean-up. It is also their responsibility to have spill control equipment appropriate for the chemicals being handled readily available. There should be a sufficient quantity of absorbents or other types of materials to control any spill that can be reasonably anticipated.

The following are general guidelines to be followed for a chemical spill:

  1. Immediately alert room occupants and evacuate the area, if necessary.
  2. If there is a fire or medical attention is needed, contact BUPD at 2222.
  3. Attend to any people who may be contaminated. Contaminated clothing must be removed immediately and the skin flushed with water for no less than fifteen minutes. Clothing must be laundered before reuse.
  4. If a volatile, flammable material is spilled, immediately warn everyone, control sources of ignition and ventilate the area.
  5. Don personal protective equipment, as appropriate to the hazards. Refer to the Material Safety Data Sheet or other references for information.
  6. Using the chart below, determine the extent and type of spill. If the spill is large, if there has been a release to the environment or if there is no one knowledgeable about spill clean-up available, contact EHS at 710-2900 or BUPD at 2222.

    Treatment Materials
    Small up to 300 cc chemical treatment or absorption neutralization or absorption spill kit
    Medium 300 cc - 5 liters absorption absorption spill kit
    Large more than 5 liters call BUPD outside help

  7. Consider the need for respiratory protection. The use of a respirator or self-contained breathing apparatus requires specialized training and medical surveillance. Never enter a contaminated atmosphere without protection or use a respirator without training. If respiratory protection is needed and no trained personnel are available, call EHS at 710-2900 or BUPD at 2222. If respiratory protection is available, be sure there is another person outside the spill area in communication, in case of an emergency. If no one is available, contact BUPD.
  8. Protect floor drains or other means for environmental release. Spill socks and absorbents may be placed around drains, as needed.
  9. Clean-up the spill according to the table above.

    • Loose spill control materials should be distributed over the entire spill area, working from the outside, circling to the inside. This reduces the chance of splash or spreading of the spilled chemical.
    • Bulk absorbents and many spill pillows do not work with hydrofluoric acid. POLYZORB products and their equivalent will handle hydrofluoric acid.
    • Many neutralizers for acids or alkalines have a color change indicator to show when neutralization is complete.

  10. When spilled materials have been absorbed, use brush and scoop to place materials in an appropriate container. Polyethylene bags may be used for small spills. Five gallon pails or 20 gallon drums with polyethylene liners may be appropriate for larger quantities.
  11. Complete a hazardous waste sticker, identifying the material as Spill Debris involving XYZ Chemical, and affix onto the container. Remember that the use of an adsorbent does not alter the chemical properties of that chemical. Contact EHS at 710-2900 for advice on storage and packaging for disposal, and see Section 10 for correct labeling procedures for hazardous waste.
  12. Place the container in a flammable liquid storage cabinet until the next hazardous waste pickup.
  13. Decontaminate the surface where the spill occurred using a mild detergent and water, when appropriate.
  14. Report all spills to the Department Manager.

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