Emergency Preparedness: Emergency Response Guide
STOP and THINK. Stop Working. Stop the Spill.
Assess the situation:
- How big is the spill?
- Are there any injuries associated with the spill?
- Has it made contact with your skin or personal clothing?
- Can it be safely cleaned? Note: Follow the Spill Cleanup Requirements listed below to make this decision.
- Call x7911 or 9-911 if there is a medical emergency or danger to life, health or the environment.
- Alert people nearby
Isolate the Area
- Restrict access to those involved in the spill cleanup
- Keep doors closed
Monitor Yourself Carefully and Completely
- Check yourself for any chemical contamination or signs/symptoms of exposure (e.g., wet clothing, skin or respiratory irritation).
- For medical emergencies follow directions under the PERSONAL INJURY tab.
Stay In or Near the Area Until Help Arrives
- Minimize your movements. Avoid spreading contamination to other areas
- Have person who is knowledgeable of the incident be available to talk to or assist Emergency Personnel
- Notify your Supervisor
Chemical Spill Cleanup Requirements: You can clean up a chemical spill if ALL of the following requirements are met:
- You are NOT a high school student, or a participant in an internship program
- There is no potential for release to the environment
Note: Care must be taken to avoid spreading or tracking chemical contamination to other areas.
- There are no personal injuries resulting from the spill.
- You know what the chemical hazards are.
- The clean up procedures are known and you have the proper spill clean up materials.
- You have the proper PPE to protect yourself during the clean up.
- The spill can be cleaned up safely by two people in one hour or less.
- The spill does NOT involve elemental mercury. Special cleanup and monitoring procedures are required for mercury spills. Moreover, mercury contamination is easily tracked to other areas.
If ALL of the above requirements are not met or if you have any doubts about your ability to safely and effectively clean up the spill, then:
- Leave the immediate area,
- Close the door.
- Stay close by and control access — Post the entrance with a warning such as “Spill–Do Not Enter” and Call extension x6999 for assistance.
Other Chemical Spill Cleanup Considerations
- Review these guidelines periodically — you must be familiar with them and know what to do before a spill occurs
- Understand the hazards of the chemicals you use. Consult the Material Safety Data Sheets (use the “A-Z Index" at LBNL’s home page).
- Keep spill clean up kits in your work area. There are different types for acids, bases and solvents.
Consult the Chemical Hygiene and Safety Plan (use the “A-Z Index" from LBNL’s home page) for selecting and purchasing spill clean up kits.
- Wear the proper PPE to protect yourself. The minimum includes a lab coat (or coveralls), chemical goggles and chemically resistant gloves rated for the chemical(s) of concern. Consult the Chemical Hygiene and Safety Plan for selecting and using eye/face protection and gloves.
- Ensure waste materials are properly contained and labels and are place in an approved Satellite Accumulation Area.
- Inform your Supervisor.
- Take Chemical Hygiene and Safety Training — EHS 348 for people who work in laboratories or EHS 345 for Facilities personnel.