System Office of Risk Services

In Case of Hazordous Materials

A release of hazardous materials could involve chemical, biological, or radioactive materials. The ability to respond to a hazardous materials release will depend on many factors, including the amount of material spilled or involved in an incident, the physical, biological and chemical characteristics of the material, the material's health and hazard characteristics, the location of the spill, the level of response training obtained, and the types of personal protective and spill response equipment available.

If a hazardous materials release occurs that cannot be handled by an employee, then:

  1. Alert people in the immediate area of the spill, evacuate the area, and call 911.
  2. If an explosion hazard is present, take care not to create sparks by turning on or off electrical equipment. Activate the electrical shutoff if a laboratory is equipped with one.
  3. Confine the hazard by closing doors as you leave the area.
  4. Use eyewash or safety showers as needed to rinse contamination off people.
  5. Evacuate any nearby rooms that may be affected. If the hazard will affect the entire building evacuate the entire building. If there is a chance of explosion from the hazardous material release do not activate the building fire alarm. Evacuate the building manually by alerting others by voice. Take care not to turn electrical equipment on or off or otherwise cause sparks. If there is no chance of explosion, activate the building fire alarm system by pulling the handle on a manual pull station.
  6. Evacuate the building following the procedures listed in the Evacuation procedure. The Evacuation Coordinator must call 911 to verify the fire alarm/evacuation signal has been received. Be prepared to provide as much information as possible on the hazardous materials released.
  7. At the designated evacuation point, notify emergency responders of the location, nature and size of the spill.
  8. Isolate contaminated persons. Avoid cross-contamination or chemical exposure from contaminated persons.

Securing and Accounting for Hazardous Materials

The use of hazardous materials at the university requires safeguards and increased security. However remote the possibility, we should prevent the unintentional removal of biological agents, radioactive materials, and hazardous chemicals. By using common sense and the following steps, we can greatly reduce the potential for problems:

  1. Do not leave laboratories, or other areas where hazardous materials are present, open and unattended. If you leave the area, make sure the door is locked.
  2. When not in use, return hazardous materials to their proper storage area. Storage areas in unattended spaces should be locked.
  3. Maintain an inventory of hazardous materials and routinely check these materials.
  4. Do not allow unauthorized personnel into your work space. Question people who enter your work space and who are unfamiliar to you.
  5. If you notice any hazardous materials missing or believe they have been stolen, please contact your campus or local police.

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