Hazardous Material

Hazard Overview

Hazardous material is defined as any material that, because of its quantity, concentration, physical or chemical characteristics, may adversely affect human or environmental health.  It is essential to have the proper training and to know what to do if a spill occurs and only those with appropriate training should handle hazardous substances.

More information on the Hazardous Materials program, spill response and training and can be found on the  EHS Hazardous Materials page. 

Spill Prevention

  • If you are going to be handling hazardous materials you must receive appropriate spill response training
  • Know the hazards of each material you are working with

Spill Response

  • Immediately notify lab occupants of the spill and evacuate the area, close doors behind you
  • Notify your supervisor and/or lab coordinator of the spill
  • Provide details such as quantity spilled and chemical name

Once out of the area, conduct an initial risk assessment to determine:

  • Is building evacuation required?  if yes, exit the lab, close the door, pull the fire alarm and contact Campus Security  
  • Is it a major or minor spill? 
  • Have you been trained in spill clean up, and do you have the necessary equipment to clean it up?

Minor Spill: If you have received spill clean up training and the spill is small then you may clean up and fill in an incident report

Medium Spill: If help for cleanup is required contact EHS

Major Spill: External Resources are required to contain and clean up spill.  Contact Campus Security.

Reporting Spills

  • Report all spills to your supervisor
  • Complete an incident report 
  • If building evacuation is required and/or if external resources are required to clean up the spill, report to Campus Security
  • Contact EHS if assistance to clean up the spill is required 

Safety Tips

  • Before handling any Hazardous Materials you must be trained on how to use it safely.  This includes general lab safety training, as well as lab specific training provided by your supervisor.
  • Be sure you have a stocked spill kit in your area, and everyone knows where to find it.