All EAS Laboratories that have chemicals have a Spills Absorbent two pail system. The absorbent in the top pail is a 1:1:1 by volume mixture of sand-kitty litter-sodium bicarbonate. There are two Ultra Clean labs in the department that are an exception to this rule, these labs use spill pillows to absorb spills. Be sure to check what type of a spill the pillows are for.

How to Clean Up a Spill:

  • All injured personnel take precedence over the spill. If there has been an injury, remove the person from the area of the spill, and begin first aid. Call for help. EAS Spill Designates have First Aid Certification. If you have received a chemical splash, you must seek medical attention. Remember that the Worker’s Compensation forms will need to be filed within 48 hours
  • Seal off the area so that others are not exposed to the fumes or the spill
  • Determine the toxicity of the spill and don the correct PPE accordingly. If a highly corrosive acid or toxic chemical has been spilled outside of a fumehood, you need to don a respirator located in the chemical spills kit. All those assisting with the spill must wear the proper PPE. Whenever a respirator is used, it must be sterilized before being returned to the kit

If the spill is HF and the volume is larger than 250 mL in size IMMEDIATELY contact HSE (780-492-5555). DO NOT CLEAN UP YOURSELF!

  • Move the broken glass or items with chemicals on them into the fumehood as quickly as possible to reduce the amount of airborne chemical contamination
  • Surround the spill using the absorbent mixture and move inwards until the entire spill has been absorbed
  • Bag the residue using the heavy duty plastic bags inside the second pail. Use the appropriate tools to clean up the residue – if the spill was a flammable liquid – do not use metal dustpans that could create a spark. Place the chemical absorbent heavy plastic bags and any contaminated glassware into a sealed pail
  • Submit the waste through CHEMATIX and notify the EAS Safety Designate. NEVER DISPOSE OF IN THE REGULAR GARBAGE OR POUR WASTE DOWN THE SINK!
  • Replenish all supplies used and sterilize all mask that were worn
  • Report spill as an incident to HSE through ARISE and notify the EAS Safety Committee and the Lab PI
  • Both the Lab PI and the EAS Safety Committee will review what happened in order that a repeated incidence will not occur
  • EAS Safety Committee, Lab PI, and/or HSE will follow up the incident to ensure that all recommendations to avoid a repeat accident have been completed

Incidents and spills will occur in labs – it’s how you deal with them that matter!