EXIT THE AREA -- Immediately after a hazardous chemical is spilled exit the area. If the spill occurred in a laboratory and access to the fume hood is not blocked by the spill and/or hazardous vapors are not present in the area, then raise the sash on the fume hood to increase the airflow.
SHUT THE DOORS AND SECURE THE AREA-- Shut the doors to the area where the spill is located and secure the area, if possible. Most laboratories are under negative pressure, which will pull air from the hallway into the lab, to prevent potentially hazardous vapors from spreading into other areas.
CALL PUBLIC SAFETY – Call USI Public Safety (812-492-7777 or ext. 7777) from a safe location and give the following information:
Public Safety may contact Central Dispatch to have fire department respond depending on the size and nature of the chemical spill.
ASSESS THE SITUATION -- Determine if the spill is Immediately Dangerous to Life or Health (IDLH). IDLH incidents are those that pose a significant and immediate threat to building occupants due to extreme toxicity, imminent explosion, or other life-threatening scenario. These types of incidents are rare. If the spill does not pose a threat to the building occupants, then remain outside the entrance to the laboratory until the spill response team arrives. If you determine the situation to be Immediately Dangerous to Life or Health, then proceed to the next step.
PULL THE FIRE ALARM -- After determining that the spill poses an immediate danger to the building occupants, pull the fire alarm. Activating the fire alarm will evacuate the building occupants and call the local fire department.
EXIT THE BUILDING -- Once the fire alarm has been activated, exit the building. Remain at a safe distance from the main entrance of the building. Give complete information to the emergency response teams upon arrival.
Remove any contaminated clothing immediately and flush all areas of bodily contact with copious amounts of water. This should take place in a safe location and while someone else makes the appropriate phone calls.
Ensure that medical assistance is obtained for those injured or exposed (safety shower, medical attention, etc.). Continue to rinse body contact areas with copious amounts of water for at least 15 minutes unless directed otherwise by appropriate emergency medical personnel (physician, nurse, paramedic or emergency medical technician).
Visit campus Health Services or a local hospital for medical care and evaluation. If possible, take applicable Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS) with you.
The Radiation Safety Training Guide gives detailed instructions regarding what to do in the event of a release involving radioactive material. Basic instructions include the following:
ALL spills of biological materials, regardless of biosafety level, should be reported to the Environmental Health & Safety Manager. Extremely large spills should also initially be reported to Public Safety.
If the biological spill poses an inhalation hazard, do not attempt to handle the spill. Environmental Health and Safety will assume responsibility for the situation.
If a compressed gas cylinder or gas piping is leaking or is suspected of leaking or if there is any other known or suspected gas release, or if a person knowledgeable about the source decides that it is hazardous to them or to other building occupants, the following steps should be taken: