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Emergencies

emergency box internal box view
Emergency box

Emergency Response

Anyone might encounter an emergency in the course of their normal duties. Those that do are called “first responders,” and must initiate defensive actions and the notification process. There are five main types of emergencies:

  • Explosions and fires
  • Medical emergencies, including splashes of hazardous agents
  • Spills: chemical spills, biological spills, and mercury spills
  • Leaking gas cylinders
  • Electrical shocks
external emergency box view
Emergency box

If an emergency takes place in your area of work that requires the evacuation of the building, leave the building through the nearest exit and use the closest emergency yellow box on campus to contact campus police.

To use them, open the steel door by turning the handle. Pushing the emergency button located inside the box creates an automatic connection to University Police that cannot be disconnected. Clark’s campus police will automatically know which box has been activated. Please let the dispatcher know where and what event took place to ensure a quick and effective response to the crisis.

Download map to locate emergency boxes

What to do in case of ...

Biological spills are those than involve potentially hazardous microorganisms or possibly contaminated bodily fluids.

Cleaning up a biological 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. Put on protective equipment. This includes a laboratory coat with long sleeves, tear-resistant gloves (wear two pairs), disposable shoe covers, and safety goggles.
  4. Cover spill with paper towels.
  5. Carefully pour a freshly prepared 1 to 10 dilution of household bleach. First bleach the edges and then the center areas. Avoid splashing.
  6. Let the spill soak for a minimum of 20 minutes.
  7. After 20 minutes clean the spill with fresh towels soaked in bleach or disinfectant.
  8. Bleached materials are disinfected and can go in the trash. Bleach cannot be autoclaved.
  9. Remove gloves one at the time by grasping the wrist end and pulling toward the fingers. The gloves should then come inside out.
  10. All contaminated protective equipment should be placed in another waste bag and autoclaved.
  11. Vigorously wash hands, arms, and shoe soles with lots of soap and water for at least one full minute.
  12. Report incident to laboratory supervisor and chemical safety officer: extension 7280 or 1-508-793-7280.

safety label example

Gas Cylinder Safety

  • Always read the label and consult SDS.
  • Clearly mark cylinders as “Full,” “Empty,” and “In use” as it applies.
  • Screw-on cap must be placed when cylinders are not in use.
  • Secure cylinders at all times to prevent tipping.
  • Never attempt to repair a cylinder or valve.
  • Always make sure that regulator and fittings are compatible.
  • Use a properly designed wheeled cart to move cylinders. Never roll or drag them.

Leaking Gas Cylinders

If a leaking cylinder is discovered, move it to a safe place (if it is safe to do so — when in doubt, call the Safety Office x7280) and inform the chemical safety officer.

NEVER attempt to repair a cylinder or valve.

Cylinders in Storage

gas cylinder in storage

A Cylinder in Use

gas cylinder in use

Contact Information

Environmental Health and Safety

Office Location
  • Arthur M. Sackler Sciences Center
    Room S108
    950 Main Street
    Worcester, MA 01610
  • 1-508-793-7280
  • 1-508-793-7117 Fax
  • fabell[at]clarku[dot]edu