Before using any hazardous material you should carefully read the label and safety data sheet (SDS). Understanding your material will allow you to make any emergency decisions should an accident happen.

Your priorities in the event of a spill are:

  1. The prevention and treatment of injuries.
  2. The prevention of environmental contamination.
  3. The protection of property.

Your response to the spill should proceed as follows:

Step 1

Immediately alert all lab occupants that you have had a spill.

If in your opinion there is an immediate risk to room occupants, EVACUATE the laboratory and close the door behind you.

If you feel the spill presents an immediate risk to individuals outside the laboratory do not hesitate to use the nearest Fire Alarm pull station to EVACUATE the building.

Wait outside the building and make the emergency responders aware that you were the one who activated the alarm and inform them of the nature of the emergency.

Assist any injured individuals from the area only if it does not place you at risk.  If it is necessary to leave anyone behind, make certain that responding emergency staff are aware of the individual's location and condition.

Step 2

When you are certain you are in a SAFE AREA, ensure any injured individuals receive appropriate first-aid.

Contact Western Special Constable Service (WSCS) at 911 (on a campus phone) to request any necessary help (Hazmat, ambulance, first aid, etc.).  If you use a cellular phone, be sure you tell the dispatcher you are calling from Western University.

NEVER open a window in your lab.  While this will clear things up in your lab, it will allow any gasses or vapours to be distributed throughout the entire building.  If available, place your lab fumehoods into emergency mode.

Step 3

If it is safe to remain in the lab, ELIMINATE any sources of ignition near the spill.  Take measures to prevent the spill from entering floor or sink drains if there is a risk of this happening.

Step 4

Use your laboratory spill kit to control and clean up the spill ONLY if you have the necessary personal protective equipment.  If not ask Campus Police to contact the Hazardous Materials Spill Response Team.

Published on  and maintained in Cascade CMS.