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Chemical Spills

Chemical Spills

Please Note—These are general guidelines and must always be augmented with training and procedures specific to the hazards associated with the chemical 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 chemical spills. Chemical spills should only be cleaned up by someone who is trained and has direct knowledge of the types of chemicals present in the area. If at any time the spill is beyond your capability to handle, call EH&S specialist for help. 

Minor Chemical Spill  

Typically, a minor spill is less than a liter. A minor chemical spill is one that laboratory workers can safely handle with the resources locally available and where there is no potential risk of health or physical hazards (i.e. fire, explosion, or chemical exposure).  

The following minor chemical spill procedures should be used by trained, knowledgeable, and experienced laboratory workers only:  

  1. Alert people in the immediate area, and adjoining spaces, of the spill.  

  2. Notify a Principal Investigator (PI) and/or supervisor as soon as possible and safe to do so.  

  3. If the spilled material is flammable, turn off all ignition and heat sources.  

  4. Ensure that the proper personal protective equipment (PPE) is worn during the cleanup (consult the SDS, PI, and/or EH&S).  

  5. Confine the spill to a small area.  

  6. Neutralize or absorb the spilled chemical with the proper clean up equipment/materials.  

  7. Dispose of materials as hazardous waste. Properly label all waste containers and notify EH&S via EH&S Service Request (link to).  

Major Chemical Spill 

Who do I contact if there is a chemical spill? 

For a larger chemical spill, contact your PI and/or EH&S for additional assistance. Only personnel who have been properly trained are authorized to contain and clean up a major hazardous chemical spill.

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. 

The University has internal and external resources for responding to hazardous materials incidents. A major spill includes any spill that on-scene personnel deem beyond their training or resources. These following steps can be taken, if safe to do so, to help minimize the impact of the spill:  

  1. Evacuate spill area of all affected workers and close doors to the affected area. Keep others away from the area.  

  2. If the spilled material is flammable, turn off all ignition and heat sources (only if safe).  

  3. Send someone to call 911 and report the conditions to the police dispatcher. Ensure you are calling from a safe location.  

  4. Notify Principal Investigator and/or the Instructional Support Technician.  

  5. Notify the EH&S office at ext. 7519 from any campus phone or 909-537-5179 from any cell phone.  

  6. Wait from a safe distance for the trained personnel to arrive at the spill location before you leave.  

What is in the Emergency Spill Kit?   

  • 1 - GO300 Large Absorbent Pillow
  • 1 -GO200 Medium Absorbent Pillow
  • 4 -GO100 Small Absorbent Pillows
  • 1 -Four Foot Absorbent Sock
  • Goggles
  • A pair of gloves 

Missing something? Submit an EH&S Service Request and an EH&S specialist will contact you.