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Biological Spills

Biological Spills

Please Note—These are general guidelines and must always be augmented with training and procedures specific to the hazards associated with the biological material/hazard in use within your area. These procedures are not intended to replace site-specific procedures or best practices.  

If this is an emergency, please contact 911 from any campus phone or mobile device. Give detailed information and wait for the emergency response from a safe distance.  

Below is additional information, meant to prevent injuries and mitigate hazards during a biological spill clean-up. Biological spills should only be cleaned up by someone who is trained and has direct knowledge of the types of hazards present in the area. If at any time the spill is beyond your capability to handle, call an EH&S specialist for help. 

When working with biological materials/hazards, emergency contact info is to be posted in all areas where BSL-1 and 2 work is conducted. The information must include business hours and after-hours contact information.  

Minor Biological Spill (less than 10mL) 

In the event of a minor biological spill, the following procedures should be used by trained, knowledgeable, and experienced laboratory workers only:  

  1. Notify others in the area, to prevent contamination of additional personnel and environment.   

  2. Remove any contaminated clothing and wash exposed skin with disinfectant.   

  3. Put on the proper personal protective equipment (e.g., gloves, lab coat, face protection or eye protection) as necessary. Cover the spill with paper towels and pour concentrated disinfectant around the spill allowing it to mix with the spilled material. Allow suitable contact time of at least 15 minutes.  

  4. Discard all disposal materials used to clean up the spill into a compliant biohazard bag. Make sure to tie appropriately as explained on the “Proper Tying Method” (link to pdf poster).  

  5. Wash hands with soap and hand-washing disinfectant.  

  6. Post-event follow-up should include notification of the principal investigator (PI) and Biosafety Officer (BSO).  

Major Biological Spill 

Who do I contact if there is a biological spill?  

For a larger biological spill, contact your PI and/or EH&S for additional assistance.  Major biological spills should only be handled by trained personnel.

During Business Hours (Monday thru Friday 8 am to 5 pm): 
  • EH&S Department: Call ext. 75179 from any campus phone or 909-537-5179 from any mobile device. 
After Hours (and Weekends):
  • University Police Department: Call 911 from any campus phone or mobile device.