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Environmental Health and Safety

Chemical Spill

A chemical spill is an uncontrolled release of a hazardous chemical in a solid, liquid, or gas form.  These spills should be minimized as much as possible.  In the event of a spill, a quick response with a stocked chemical spill kit will help mitigate additional harm to personnel, equipment, and work/class space.
Taking into account safety when handling these materials and knowing how to react if something should occur can help with immediate response to a spill.

Emergency Actions:

  • Immediately alert area occupants and supervisor, evacuate if necessary
  • If there is a fire or medical attention is needed, call 9-1-1
  • Attend to any people who may be contaminated. Contaminated clothing may need to be removed immediately and skin flushed with water for no less than fifteen minutes.
  • If a volatile, flammable material is spilled, immediately warn everyone, control sources of ignition and ventilate the area.

Immediate Spill Response:

  • Don appropriate PPE for the hazard. 
  • Consider the need for respiratory protection
  • If the use of respiratory protection is used, communicate that information to 9-1-1 to ensure additional responders don appropriate gear
  • Know the size of the spill
  • Protect floor drains and other means of environmental release
  • Prevention and Mitigation
  • Develop a facility/department Spill Response Plan and conduct initial and reoccurring training on the plan to staff, faculty, and students
  • Eliminate clutter from workstations
  • Remove tripping hazards
  • Ensure standard operating procedures are adhered to
  • Take care when walking with chemicals and around blind corners, announcing yourself before proceeding through a blind corner may prevent an inadvertent spill
  • Ensure proper storage.  Make sure shelving has a lip, compatible materials are stored together, large containers close to the floor, no storage on the floor, routine inspection of storage areas.

Find out more through CWU Environmental Health & Safety
For poison control, contact the Washington Poison Center at 1-800-222-1222

Shelter-in-Place information available through the Washington Department of Emergency Management.

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