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Laboratory Safety: Guidelines For Emergency Response Procedures For Chemical Spills
Excerpts from the Laboratory Safety Manual of the UAH Office of Environmental Health and Safety
The Laboratory Safety Manual was compiled to ensure that the University goals in environmental health and safety are accomplished as they apply to laboratory activities. Basic concepts in laboratory safety practices are covered. This Manual does not include in-depth information on biological safety, radiological safety, laser safety, or general industry safety. Information on these safety topics is available from the Office of Environmental Health and Safety. In compiling this information, guidelines and recommended practices were drawn on from regulatory agencies such as:
Knowledge and practice of the guidelines set forth in this manual will significantly reduce the risk of injury and facility loss and benefit the faculty, staff, and students of The University of Alabama in Huntsville.
The general housekeeping section includes laboratory close-out procedures. Significant strides have been made at UAH in minimizing the safety and environmental hazards associated with unknown laboratory products. By adhering to the laboratory close-out procedures, unknown chemical products will be virtually eliminated and incoming faculty and staff will be greeted with a research-ready laboratory. The UAH Hazardous Waste Management Plan (HWMP), which was previously a stand-alone document, has been incorporated into the Laboratory Safety Manual as an appendix. The goal of the HWMP is to protect the health and safety of employees, students, and the environment while complying with the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act. The HWMP provides guidelines for the management of hazardous waste from its point of generation to its final disposition/destruction. Violations of RCRA regulations can result in fines as much as $32,500 per day per violation. Criminal charges may be brought against individuals who knowingly violate state, federal, or local regulations.
Therefore, failure to comply with the guidelines for handling hazardous waste can have serious ramifications to individuals as well as to the University. Additionally, the Laboratory Safety Manual incorporates OEHS hazard notifications through project registration and optional self-audit procedures. Notification to the OEHS is required for emergency planning, regulatory reporting, and to limit employee and University liabilities. The Laboratory Safety Manual provides information on the fixed safety and industrial hygiene equipment as well as how to get repairs for these items.
I. IntroductionThe UAH Laboratory Safety Manual is for use as a general guide in safety for chemical laboratories on the UAH campus. In depth information can be obtained from the OEHS or a number of publications. Prudent Practices for Handling Hazardous Chemicals in Laboratories is a publication highly recommended for all laboratories utilizing hazardous chemicals.
Call the Office of Public Safety (OPS) for immediate assistance when chemical exposure and or injury has occurred. The OPS will immediately contact the appropriate parties. The Office of Public Safety can be reached by dialing 6911 on any campus phone. Emergency laboratory situations in which Public Safety should be notified include but are not limited to; hazardous chemical, radioisotope, and biological agent spills. Injuries and exposures should be attended to immediately and the OPS contacted as soon as possible to request an ambulance or other assistance. In all cases the OPS will immediately call the appropriate individuals for response. A laboratory sign indicating emergency phone numbers must be posted in all laboratories and is available in Appendix A.
All injury and chemical exposure cases must be reported to the OPS within 48 hours of the occurrence. This is accomplished by either a supervisory person or the injured/exposed person completing and submitting an accident/injury report at the UAH Police Station in the Physical Plant Building.
A. Hazardous Chemical/Substance Spills must be cleaned as soon as possible. If the spill exceeds five liters or is an acutely hazardous substance, as defined in Appendix B of this manual, the OPS must be contacted immediately at 6911.
General procedural guidelines to follow during a chemical spill are listed in section II C. Individual departments may develop more detailed internal procedures. Internal procedures must be at least as stringent as the UAH Laboratory Safety Manual guidelines and are subject to review by the OEHS.
1. Spill Kit Materials
SPILL ABSORBENTS & EQUIPMENT
2. General Chemical Spill Guidelines
Dawg spill control and emergency response products keep you prepared and ready to handle any spill.
The categories below provide an easy to find guide to the products you'll need to keep your facility clean, safe and in compliance.
LIGHTWEIGHT SPILL KITS
Duffel Bag Spill Kit
HazMat Bucket Kit
OverPack Kits - Larger Spills
95 Gallon Overpack Spill Kit
95-Gallon Mobile Overpack Kit
Training For Chemical Spill Cleanup
2. Contact the Office of Public Safety (OPS) at 6911 in the event of a fire or when medical attention is required.
3. Attend to any people who may be contaminated. The First Aid Manual for Chemical Accidents is available in each laboratory building. Refer to the posted signs for location information. Contaminated clothing must be removed immediately and the skin flushed with water for at least fifteen minutes. Clothing must be laundered separately from other clothing before reuse.
4. Immediately warn everyone when a volatile flammable material is spilled. Control sources of ignition. Ventilate the area by turning on the fume hoods with the sashes completely open and open all windows.
5. Use the appropriate personal protective equipment for the hazard involved. Refer to the Material Safety Data Sheet or other available references for information.
6. The use of respiratory protection requires specialized training and medical surveillance. DO NOT enter a contaminated atmosphere without protection or use a respirator without training. Call the OPS or OEHS when respiratory protection is required and there are no trained personnel available. When respiratory protection is used for emergency purposes there must be another trained person outside the spill area. This person must have communication abilities with the person in the spill area. Contact Public Safety when no one is available for back-up.
7. Cover or block floor drains or any other route that could lead to an environmental release.
8. Use the appropriate media when cleaning spills. Begin by circling the outer edge of the spill with absorbent. Next, distribute spill control materials over the surface of the spill. This will effectively stop the liquid from spreading and minimize volatilization.
9. Place absorbed materials in an appropriate container using a brush and scoop. Small spills can be placed in polyethylene bags. Larger quantity spills may require five-gallon pails or 20-gallon drums with polyethylene liners.
10. Absorbent materials used on the chemical spill will most likely require disposal as hazardous waste. Place a completed hazardous waste label on the container. Contact the OEHS at 2352 for information concerning preparing waste for disposal and for a waste pick-up.
11. Clean the surface where the spill occurred using a mild detergent and water.
12. Immediately report all spills to your supervisor.