Chemical Spill

Chemical Spill

Chemical Spill

First, you must decide on whether to evacuate the immediate area of the spill. If you find yourself in a situation where you cannot safely control the spill, the safest action is to evacuate the area.


  • If the spill is contained within an operating fume hood, evacuation is not necessary.
  • If the spill is outside of an operating fume hood but within your lab, evacuation is usually not necessary since the laboratories are generally under negative pressure with respect to surrounding areas.
  • If the spill is outside a laboratory, if you spill a particularly hazardous substance, or you have reason to believe that a spill in the laboratory may escape into the surrounding areas, please do not hesitate to pull a fire alarm if you feel the need for building-wide evacuation.

Personal Contamination

  • If a spilled material has contacted any part of your body, start first aid measures immediately. Shout for help and move directly to the nearest eyewash or safety shower. Disrobe promptly if clothing is involved.
  • If eyes or skin are involved flush with an emergency eyewash and/or safety shower for a minimum of 30 minutes. Other persons should assist (you will need help with eye flushing) and should contact the Department of Public Safety and Office of Emergency Management as soon as possible to obtain medical assistance

Spill Cleanup

If you have the appropriate laboratory training, you can clean up a chemical spill yourself. Make a determination on whether a cleanup can be handled or if assistance is required. Generally, the spill can and should be cleaned up by laboratory personnel if the material is of low hazard (low corrosivity and toxicity) and if one gallon or less has been spilled. Review the appropriate Material Safety Data Sheets and use the following guidelines based on the size of the spill MSDS BOOK OR WEBPAGE.

Small Spill Large Spill

ASSESS spill size, chemical type and available cleanup equipment.

EVACUATE the immediate area.

WARN other personnel.

WEAR appropriate PPE.

CLEAN UP spill using appropriate spill kit if trained to do so.

CONTAIN spilled material in a sturdy plastic bag or sealed drum. Apply a hazardous waste label and contact Environment, Health and Safety Department for disposal.

ATTEND to injured persons, seek appropriate medical attention.

EVACUATE area/building.

EXTINGUISH ignition and heat sources.

PREVENT spill from spreading.

CONTACT Environment, Health and Safety Department for assistance. After hours call Public Safety.

FILE a formal incident report.

If you require any more information, contact:

Environment, Health, and Safety Department
201 Mullica Road
2nd Floor, Herring Steam Plant
Glassboro, New Jersey 08028

Contact Environment, Health, and Safety Departments