High-Hazard Emergency Spills
A high-hazard emergency spill is defined as a chemical spill that is immediately dangerous to life and health due to the chemical properties (i.e. toxicity, reactivity) and/or volume of spilled material; involves a radioactive material; or involves an infectious agent. If the spill falls into one of these categories, the following emergency procedures must be followed:
- Cease all activities.
- Evacuate the spill area.
- Pull fire alarm if building evacuation is required.
- Call 911 (ensures that Purdue Fire and Police will respond).
- Seek immediate medical attention if necessary.
- If possible, call REM at 49-40121.
- Keep people out of the spill area.
- Do not re-enter the area until emergency personnel advise that it is safe to do so.
- Account for all employees and report missing persons to emergency personnel.
If you are unsure whether the spill is considered an emergency situation, do not hesitate to evacuate the area and call 911 for assistance.
In general, small spills should be absorbed and collected. Consult the MSDS for specific instructions on spill response. Decontamination of the spill area with a mild soap solution may also be necessary. Proper personal protective equipment should be worn at all times when cleaning up spills. This should include at a minimum gloves, goggles and a lab coat. Once the spill has been cleaned, all spill debris must be collected in an appropriate container and submitted on a Hazardous Materials Pickup Request Form. For questions regarding proper spill cleanup procedures, or if assistance is needed to clean up the spill, call REM at 49-40121 during normal business hours (Monday-Friday, 7:00 am - 4:30 pm). If a non-emergency spill occurs after normal business hours, call Purdue Police at 49-48221 to report the spill. Purdue Police will contact REM to provide assistance.
The following procedures must be followed in the event of a mercury spill:
- Call REM at 49-40121 during normal business hours (Monday-Friday, 7:00 am - 4:30 pm) to report the spill. REM will provide assistance.
- Call Purdue Police at 49-48221 after business hours to report the spill. Purdue Police will contact REM to provide assistance.
- If possible, contain the spill. An attempt should be made to prevent mercury from entering drains, cracks or other crevices.
- Keep people away from the spill area. Before leaving the area, check for mercury on clothing and the bottom of shoes. If mercury is visible on any articles of clothing or shoes, remove and keep those articles in the area.
Never pour mercury down the drain or dispose of in the trash. All mercury, including contaminated debris, must be collected for disposal.