safety equipment so that the fire extinguisher is replaced in a timely manner.
3. Eyewash units are available, inspected, and tested on a regular basis.
4. Safety showers are available and tested routinely.
5. Fire blankets are available in the laboratory, as required. Fire blankets can be used to wrap a burn victim to douse flames as well as to cover a shock victim and to provide a privacy shield when treating a victim under a safety shower in the event of a chemical spill.
NOTE: Laboratory personnel should be taught that fire blankets can be dangerous if used incorrectly. Wrapping a fire blanket around a person on fire can result in a chimney-like effect that intensifies, rather than extinguishes, the fire. Fire blankets should never be used on a person when they are standing. (See Chapter 7, section 7.F.2.3 for more information on responding to fires.)
6. First-aid equipment is accessible, whether through a kit available in the laboratory or by request through the organization.
7. Fire alarms and telephones are available and accessible for emergency use.
8. Pathways to fire extinguishers, eyewash units, fire blankets, first-aid kits, and safety showers are clear.
2.F.3 Chemical Spill Policy
Laboratory personnel should be familiar with the chemical, physical, and toxicological properties of each hazardous substance in the laboratory. Consult the label and the MSDS prior to the initial use of each hazardous substance. Always use the minimal amount of the chemical and use caution when transporting the chemical. In the event of an accidental chemical release or spill, personnel should refer to the following general guidelines.
Most laboratory workers should be able to clean up incidental spills of the materials they use. Large spills, for example, 4 L or more, may require materials, protective equipment, and special handling that make it unsafe for cleanup by laboratory workers themselves. Lab workers should be instructed to contact EHS personnel to evaluate how to proceed with spill cleanup.
In the event that the spill material has been released to the environment, notify EHS personnel immediately. A release to the environment includes spills directly into a drain or waterway or onto land, such as grass or dirt.
Low-flammability and low-toxicity materials that are not volatile (e.g., inorganic acids and caustic bases)
1. Decontaminate any victim at the nearest safety shower or eyewash unit. Take other appropriate action as described in the MSDS.
2. Notify appropriate personnel immediately.4
3. Limit or restrict access to the area as necessary.
4. Wear PPE that is appropriate to the degree of hazard of the spilled substance.
5. Use chemical spill kits that contain an inert absorbent to clean up the affected area if this action can be accomplished without risk of additional injury or contamination to personnel. If the spill is located on the laboratory floor, be aware that some absorbents can create a slipping hazard.
6. Dispose of contaminated materials according to institutional policy.
7. Complete an incident report and submit it to the appropriate office or individual.
8. Label all phones with emergency phone numbers.
Flammable solvents of low toxicity (e.g., diethyl ether and tetrahydrofuran)
1. Decontaminate any victims at the nearest safety shower or eyewash unit. Take other appropriate action as described in the MSDS.
2. Alert all other personnel in the laboratory and the general vicinity of the spill.
3. Extinguish all flames and turn off any spark-producing equipment. If necessary, turn off power to the laboratory at the circuit breaker. The ventilation system must remain operational.
4. Immediately notify appropriate personnel.4
5. Limit or restrict access to the area as necessary.
6. Wear PPE that is appropriate to the degree of hazard of the spilled substance.
7. Use spill pillows or spill absorbent and nonsparking tools to soak up the solvent as quickly as possible. Be sure to soak up chemicals that have seeped under equipment and other objects in the laboratory. If the spill is located on the laboratory floor, be aware that some absorbents can create a slipping hazard.
8. Dispose of contaminated materials according to institutional policy.
9. Complete an incident report and submit it to the appropriate office or individual.
4The person to notify in case of an incident in the laboratory varies by organization. It may be the CHO, the safety director, on-site security, or another party. Check with the organization to determine the appropriate individual or office.