Spill Response and Clean-Up


Basic Notification Procedure


Follow the basic notification procedure below for hazardous spills.

  1. Alert all persons nearby.
  2. Secure the area and DO NOT attempt to clean unless you are properly trained, equipped, and you understand the chemical/hazardous characteristics of the spilled material.
  3. Evacuate, if necessary.
  4. Call DPS- UPC: (213) 740-4321; HSC: (323) 442-1000. Notify DPS of any spill, even if the spill was cleaned.

Refer to the sections below to determine appropriate response to a hazardous spill; response is dependent on size of spill as well as hazards associated with released materials.


Minor Chemical Spill

Characteristics

  • Small volume
  • No inhalation hazard (i.e., no toxic vapor or toxic dust)
  • Does NOT require respiratory protection
  • Not highly health hazardous by skin contact
  • Accessible location
  • Confined area (e.g., secondary containment or fume hood)

Response

  1. Alert all persons nearby.
  2. Evacuate all non-essential personnel from spill area. Deny entry to spill area.
  3. Follow spill clean-up instructions per the Hazardous Material Spill Clean-Up Guide Sheet or provided by the manufacturer of a professional spill kit.
    • DO NOT attempt to clean up unless you are properly trained, equipped, and understand the chemical characteristics of the spilled material.
    • DO NOT attempt to clean up any spill that requires respiratory protection.
  4. Wear personal protective equipment (PPE) that is compatible with the spilled chemical.
  5. Dispose of chemical waste per the Chemical Waste Disposal Guide Sheet.
  6. Notify DPS of any spill, even if the spill was cleaned.

Review the Chemical Spill Response Guide Sheet for more information.


Major Chemical Spill

Characteristics

  • Large volume
  • High hazard substance
  • Substance which emits harmful/toxic vapor, gas, or dust
  • Potential safety or health hazard to the responder
  • Substance which is highly health hazardous (e.g., highly acutely toxic) by skin contact
  • Spill entering public areas, floor drains, or inaccessible locations (e.g., liquid running under cabinets)

Response

  1. Alert all persons nearby.
  2. Evacuate the area and close all lab doors.
    • NOTE: If spill is liquid, apply absorbent material, pads, or pillows on or around the spill before evacuating ONLY IF IT IS SAFE TO DO SO.
  3. Call DPS immediately at (213) 740-4321 UPC, (323) 442-1000 HSC. Provide the following information:
    • Name, telephone number, and location
    • Type of incident, location, and time of occurrence
    • Name and quantity of material involved, if known
    • If victims are involved (see Emergency Notification and Incident Reporting), relay the victims’ names and extent of injuries, if any
  4. Restrict access to affected area.
  5. Remain on-site to give full information to DPS, EH&S, and other responders.

Review the Chemical Spill Response Guide Sheet for more information.


Simple Compressed Gas Leak

Follow steps below if the compressed gas leak presents minimal to no inhalation or fire hazard.

  1. Remove ignition sources.
  2. Restrict access.
  3. Place in or next to a fume hood.
  4. Locate leak(s) with soapy water; tighten fittings to stop leak.
  5. If cylinder still leaks, notify supervisor.
  6. Contact labsafety@usc.edu or (323) 442-2200.

Biohazardous Spill

Follow instructions in the Biohazardous Spill Clean-Up Guide Sheet for minor biohazardous spills.


Radioactive Spill

Follow instructions in the Radiation Emergency Procedures to clean up minor radioactive spills.


References