Cleaning up Chemical Spills


  • What steps should be taken for Spill Management on campus?
  • Who do I contact for chemical spills?


Spill Response procedures - Major Spill
  1. In the event of a spill which involves
    1. the release of a type or quantity of a chemical that poses an immediate risk to health; or
    2.  involves an uncontrolled fire or explosion:
      • Evacuate the building by activating the nearest fire alarm
      • Call 911 and give details of the accident including location, types of hazardous materials involved, and whether there is personal injury
    3. If the accident involves personal injury or chemical contamination, follow the above steps as appropriate and at the same time:
      • Move the victim from the immediate area of fire, explosion, or spill (if this can be done without further injury to the victim or you)
      • Locate nearest emergency eyewash or safety shower
      • Remove any contaminated clothing from the victim and flush all areas of the body contacted by chemicals with copious amounts of water for 15 minutes
Spill Response procedures - Minor Spill
  1. In the event of a spill involving the release of a type or quantity of a chemical which does not pose an immediate risk to health and does not involve chemical contamination to the body:
    1. Notify lab personnel and adjoining personnel of the accident
    2. Isolate the area. Close lab doors and evacuate the immediate area if necessary
    3. Remove ignition sources and unplug nearby electrical equipment
    4. Establish exhaust ventilation. Vent vapors to outside of building only (open windows and turn on fume hoods)
    5. Locate spill kit
    6. Choose appropriate personal protective equipment (goggles, face shield, gloves, lab coat, etc.
    7. Confine and contain spill. Cover with appropriate absorbent material
      •  Acid and base spills should be neutralized prior to cleanup
      • Sweep solid material into a plastic dust pan and place in a sealable 5-gallon container
    8. Wet mop spill area
      • Be sure to decontaminate broom, dustpan, etc.
      • Put all contaminated items (gloves, clothing, etc.) into a sealable 5-gallon container or plastic bag.
    9. Call EH&S if a special pickup is necessary


CALL EHS (605) 658-6109 IF SPILL IS:
  • Greater than 1 gallon
  • Very toxic
  • A fire hazard
  • If you need assistance


Article ID: 8322
Thu 4/6/23 10:10 AM
Tue 8/15/23 3:24 PM
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