Chemical Spills

You should only clean up minor spills of chemicals if you are trained and familiar with the procedures to do so.

Employees and lab workers are qualified to clean-up spills that are "incidental." OSHA defines an incidental spill as a spill that does not pose a significant safety or health hazard to employees in the immediate vicinity nor does it have the potential to become an emergency within a short time frame.

If the spill is too large, highly toxic or a reactive chemical, call the Department of Public Safety (717-245-1111) for assistance immediately. If there is the slightest doubt regarding how to proceed, call Public Safety for assistance. In the case of highly toxic spills, evacuate the room and do not allow anyone to enter until assistance arrives.

Those spills that are more severe in nature are considered MAJOR. Major spills dictate the need for outside assistance. Call Public Safety (717-245-1111).

Reporting Hazardous Chemical Spill/Exposure - In the event a hazardous chemical spill or exposure occurs the following should take place:

  • Leave the area immediately;
  • Alert others of potential hazard;
  • Call Public Safety at 717-245-1111 to respond and provide:
    • location of building, room, landmark
    • description of chemical, if known
    • number of persons exposed to a hazardous chemical and potential first aid needed
    • your name and phone number for call back
  • Secure the area by preventing persons from entering until Public Safety arrives

Public Safety Response to Chemical Spill or Exposure - When Public Safety responds, the following will occur:

  • Analysis - Public Safety officers will, as a first responder, analyze the chemical spill.
  • Evacuate - Public Safety officers will evacuate all persons to a safe area.
  • Additional Resources - Public Safety officers will determine what resources are required, including medical assistance, fire department, hazardous response team, etc.
  • Secure Scene - The exposure area will be secured to prevent unauthorized entry.
  • Provide First Aid - First aid will be provided to victims to reduce exposure, which may include water dilution, ventilation, etc

Click here to view the Chemical Hygiene Plan