Identify the material, its general hazards, quantity, and the location
of the spill. Determine if you have the training, protective equipment,
and appropriate materials to safely contain or control the spill. Contact
Campus Police at 911 for assistance from Environmental Health and
Safety if needed. Notify your supervisor, lab manager, or Principal
Investigator in accordance with laboratory notification procedures.
Initiate measures to protect yourselves and others. Evaluate the need
to isolate the spill area, evacuate the lab, or evacuate a larger area.
Contact Campus Police at 911 if evacuation is necessary, or if
the need for evacuation is uncertain. If only lab evacuation is necessary,
post a sign, or better yet a person, outside each lab entrance to ensure
others do not enter.
When calling Campus Police, you should do it from a safe location. It
may be necessary to call from a location where you can see the lab entrance
to keep people away. Provide Campus Police with ALL information requested,
including a call-back number where possible. Campus Police will notify
Environmental Health and Safety and/or other appropriate response personnel.
Meet with response personnel at designated location or command center.
Identify yourself as a person knowledgeable about the details of the
spill. Remain available near the command center to provide additional
information or assistance.
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Evacuate the immediate area if rapid release. If slow leak and gas
is not toxic or corrosive (in other words .. is safely approachable),
manually shut off cylinder valve.
Shut down gas supply by hitting emergency power off button in your
laboratory or work area. Hit this button even if gases are automatically
shutdown by gas detectors etc. (Unless failsafe design, actual automatic
shutdown should not be assumed). If gases can not be shut down from
a safe area, then:
Follow lab safety plan directions. Normally, small gas leaks contained
in exhausted enclosures would only require local evacuation. However,
catastrophic leaks inside exhausted enclosures which could escape the
confines of the exhausted enclosure OR small leaks in exhausted enclosures
when exhaust is not present (e.g. power failure and no emergency power
available) should also require broader scale evacuation. Note that the
latter example would also include normal gas usage if automatic shutdown
provisions are not included and emergency power to exhaust fans is not
present (e.g. use of small cylinders in fume hoods).
Hazardous gases should be stored in exhausted gas cabinets, so evacuation
outside of the lab area will usually not be necessary if the leak originates
inside the gas cabinet. In the event of leaks that originate outside
of the gas cabinet or leaks of highly toxic gases, follow your lab safety
evacuation plan which may require evacuation of the surrounding area
Call 911 to report the emergency. IT IS VERY IMPORTANT THAT THE
OWNER/USER OF THE GAS CYLINDER(S) INVOLVED BE PRESENT AT THE DESIGNATED
BUILDING EVACUATION AREA TO PROVIDE INFORMATION TO EMERGENCY RESPONDERS.
Be sure to establish where you will meet emergency response team personnel,
along with your name, and the phone number of a safe location where
you can be reached (if possible) with the Campus Police dispatcher.
Please recognize that entry into a contaminated area to shut down gas
supplies may require specialized protective gear and trained personnel,
so planning to provide provision for remote and/or automatic gas shutdown
is very important.