Procedure No.: 44.106 Page No.: 1, 2, 3, and 4 of 4 Date Issued: 10/12/98 Issued By: J. D. Matthews
If the spill in considered significant:
The acronym CARE is an easy way to remember what to do. The procedure may not be in the same order. Close the door, activate the Alarm, Report the incident and Evacuate the building.
The Fire Department will make an assessment based on information and other resources available and decide which option to take. All instructions will come from the person in charge at the scene. This will be the Fire Chief unless otherwise delegated.
If it is absolutely believed that an alarm response is not warranted, and it is decided not to pull the fire alarm and/or call 911, seek the the opinion of the immediate supervisor and/or Environmental Health and Safety (EHS), phone 593-1666 and ask for a person in charge.
If individuals are familiar with the spilled material and are comfortable with cleaning the material up, it should cautiously be cleaned up.
If the material is well isolated but it is known the room is not safe to be occupied, EHS will assist in contacting a chemical spill cleanup team. In this case, clearly label all entrances to the space with signs "Do Not Enter, Chemical Spill."
Things to consider in this situation:
The spill situation requires judgment calls. Always err to the safe side, do not take chances.
The Fire Chief, Campus Safety and Environmental Health and Safety have the emergency pager number to contact a contractor for emergency chemical spill cleanup.
If a person in an environment and the containers of chemicals around you are not familiar, then any spill is of concern.
The reality of the situation is that we instantly start assessing the situation with our senses:
If none of the above is occurring, it is likely the spill would be considered insignificant (even though it may have chronic health or environmental significance). If in a laboratory, the possibility of the chemical being concentrated and highly reactive are much greater than if in a kitchen where commerical consumer product type chemicals would be expected.
If any of the above have not occurred, the label would likely be read and from that information, the spill would be considered insignificant and cleaned up, or the spill would be considered significant and help would be called.
If familiar with the contents of containers and the environment it is in and a spill occurs, the response will be commensurate with the knowledge about the chemicals. This chemical may smell, burn the eyes and throat, but due to knowledge of the chemical, it is known that mild symptoms occur even though the environment is not considered harmful. In this case, the spill is likely to be considered insignificant. If the properties of the chemical are well known, it is likely a regularly used chemical.
This very same chemical spill will be a significant spill to a different person. For the purpose of this procedure, if it is necessary for additional help to be called, consider the spill to be significant.
Dick Piccard revised this file (http://www.ohiou.edu/policy/s44-106.html) on January 6, 2004.
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