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Chemical Spill Response


A chemical spill is probably the most common accident in the laboratory, and in most cases can be cleaned up by laboratory personnel with minimal effort or risk. Laboratory personnel must be trained in the risks associated with the chemicals being utilized in their work, and should know when it is safe to clean up a spill.  As chemical spills are common laboratory accidents, all staff and students should be prepared to respond.

Procedure

When a spill occurs, laboratory occupants must immediately assess the situation to see if the spill has created a serious or even life-threatening situation requiring an immediate building evacuation. A spill of a few millilitres of a solvent many not present a major hazard. But a spill of an appreciable volume of a flammable liquid might call for a building evacuation. For example, a spill of 4 L of a volatile, flammable liquid in a small room might well produce vapour levels in the flammable range. A spark, a flame or even a hot surface could cause a fire that might engulf the room. A total evacuation might also be required in the event of a leak of an appreciable quantity of a flammable or toxic gas.

Chemical Spill Response Guidelines [PDF - 255 KB]

All chemical spills must be reported by submitting an Accident/Incident Report [PDF - 165 KB] to the Environmental Health and Safety Office.

Developing a Spill Response Plan

Regardless of the type or quantity of chemical involved, all worksites must implement measures to reduce the potential for spills. Planning ahead and equipping the laboratory with the required equipment usually ensures a quick, safe and effective response. An effective spill response procedure should involve reviewing hazard information (SDS and other references), ensuring adequate supply of spill control materials and recommended personal protective equipment, and site-specific procedures. The complexity and detail of the plan is dependent on the physical characteristics and volume of materials being handled, their potential toxicity, and the potential for releases to the environment.

Chemical Spill Kit Locations

Dalhousie University’s Environmental Health and Safety Office supplies general chemical spill kits that are to be used in the event of Minor Spill. The shared spill kits are located in areas in proximity to laboratories where it can be easily accessed. The EHS Office will inspect the kits to ensure that required supplies are present and in good condition on an annual basis or more often if deemed necessary. Laboratory personnel should familiarize themselves with the location of the nearest spill kit.

Studley Campus

Building

Location Description

LSC - Psychology

outside Room 2280

outside Room 3280

inside Room 5257

inside Room 4245

inside Room 100

LSC - Biology & Earth Sciences

outside Room 1018

outside Room 2112

outside Room 4016

outside Room 5014

outside Room 6038

outside Room 7012

LSC - Oceanography

outside Room 2605

outside elevator on Level 3

outside Room 1605

outside elevator on Level 4

outside elevator on Level 5

Dunn

outside Room B5

inside Room 217

outside Room 311

Chemistry

inside Room 1010

outside Room 236A

outside Room 325

outside Room 425

outside Room 509

Carleton Campus

Building

Location Description

Tupper

Receiving

outside Room SBB01

in Room AC124

outside passenger elevators on Level 3

outside passenger elevators on Level 4

outside passenger elevators on Level 5

outside passenger elevators on Level 6

outside passenger elevators on Level 7

outside passenger elevators on Level 8

outside passenger elevators on Level 9

outside passenger elevators on Level 10

outside passenger elevators on Level 11

outside passenger elevators on Level 12

outside passenger elevators on Level 13

outside passenger elevators on Level 14

outside passenger elevators on Level 15

Tupper link to CRC

in Room 2LD16

ARC Lab (3rd floor)

LSRI

Receiving

Inside N103

Burbidge

outside Room B10

inside Room 106

outside Room 209

Dentistry

02H11

01H05

in Room 1725

inside Room 2127

inside Room 2111

inside Room 3110

outside Room 4235

Sexton Campus

Building

Location Description

F building

inside Room F010

outside Room F110

outside Room F210

outside Room F310

P building

outside Room P001

N building

outside Room N126

outside Room N321

C building

outside Room C155

D building

outside Room D104

outside Room D305A

outside Room D501