Office of Environmental Health and Safety

Student in Lab

Chemical Spills

Cleaning up a chemical spill step by step:

  1. Help anybody that might be contaminated by flushing the area splashed. The safety shower, eye wash unit, or the sink can be used for this purpose.
  2. Inform persons in the vicinity of the spill. Evacuate all nonessential personnel from the spill area, and post danger signs.
  3. Always use rubber gloves and tweezers to pick up broken glass. Dispose of glass and sharps in specially marked, puncture-proof containers.
  4. If the material spilled is flammable turn off ignition sources.
  5. Avoid breathing vapors by opening windows or running the fume hoods.
  6. Consult reference literature to learn more about the dangers associated with the substance and the right procedure to clean up the spill.
  7. Use the materials and instructions in your spill kit to clean the spill.
  8. Wash your hands and any other areas such as shoe soles that could have been contaminated.
  9. Report incident to the laboratory supervisor and the Safety Office at x7280.
  10. If the substance spilled was hazardous. The waste produced will be considered hazardous waste and will have to be brought to the safety office for disposal within 72 hours.