Hazardous Material Spills

When a spill occurs, you must conduct an initial risk assessment to determine if evacuation is required, the level of evacuation (room, floor, building) and containment strategy. Once containment is achieved, a clean-up strategy must be developed in consultation with Environmental Health and Research Safety, Facilities Services, Lab Supervisor and Campus Security.

If an explosion hazard, fire hazard, and/or toxicity hazard exists:

  • Pull the fire alarm and evacuate all personnel. Turn off ignition sources and equipment.
  • Call Campus Security to relay significant details about the emergency.
  • Do not attempt to remove injured persons if doing so risks your health and/or safety, or risks further injury to the injured.
  • Note the hazardous materials involved. Arrange to secure the Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS) for the materials involved in the incident. MSDS will be need by responding emergency personnel.
  • Meet emergency personnel at the Building/Area annunciator panel.

For minor spills that are within your ability to clean up, such as a few millilitres of concentrated hydrochloric acid or 50 ml of a solvent,

  • Secure the area.
  • Contact your supervisor.
  • Call Campus Security and the Environmental Health and Research Safety Department (2-4978) to relay information about the spill and to request assistance, if necessary.
  • If trained and accompanied by another trained individual, put on the appropriate personal protective equipment and contain the spill with suitable clean-up materials from the Spill Response Kit.
  • Clean-up waste materials should be transferred to a suitable container and labeled as hazardous waste for disposal.

For more detailed instructions on cleaning up a spill, please refer to the spill response procedures listed on the right menu.