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Environmental Health, Safety and Risk Management

Health and Safety

Chemical and Laboratory Safety

General spill cleanup guidance:

Small Spills (ex. a "bench top" spill under 1L)

  • Don personal protective equipment (PPE), including eyewear and gloves
  • Pickup any broken glass and place in a puncture resistant container for hazardous waste disposal. Use mechanical means such as forceps to pick up the glass.
  • Using the laboratory spill kit, place absorbent over the spill and give it time to absorb as much of the spill as possible. Place contaminated absorbent in a hazardous waste container.
  • Wash the affected area with a soap solution and place that additional material in the same hazardous waste container as the absorbent and broken glass.
  • Remove gloves and place in the waste container. Seal container, and label as hazardous waste.
  • Remove any additional PPE and wash your hands. NOTE: Any contaminated clothing or PPE may not be taken home nor laundered without additional precautions. Contact AEHS (831)582-4630. for guidance.

Large spills (greater than a "bench top spill" > 1L)

  • Notify others in the area.
  • Cover spill if possible to keep fumes down.
  • Block drains and/ or dike the area around the spill if you can do so safely
  • Evacuate the area, closing the laboratory doors. Post a sign saying "DO NOT ENTER- CHEMICAL SPILL".
  • Call AEHS (831)582-4630.

Spills that are  of unknown material, immediately dangerous  life or health, or significant risk of fire

  • For quick guidance please refer to CSUMB's Emergency Response Guide
  • Notify others in area
  • Block drains or dike the area around the spill if you can do so safely
  • Evacuate area closing doors, contact 911 IMMEDIATELY, activating a fire alarm station, or both.
  • Be available to provide information to emergency responders.

Spill cleanup how-to:

Please refer to the video below. To review specific cleanup procedures, advance to

Spill Cleanup Containing Radioactive Material: 3:35

Chemical Spill Cleanup: 5:10

Biological Spill Cleanup: 6:35

Eye wash and Emergency Shower Guidelines

When working with hazardous materials, know the location and how to use the nearest eye wash and safety shower.

Know the location of your eyewash and safety shower

Use only approved safety equipment

Never rely on sink faucets to replace an eye wash or safety shower

Eye Wash Operation

Seconds count after a chemical exposure. Delaying treatment, even for a few seconds, may result in irreparable eye damage. Do not hesitate to use them immediately when needed.

  • Immediately flush eyes for at least 15 minutes
  • Keep eyes open (hold eyelid open) and rotate the eyeballs in all directions to remove contamination from around the eyes.
  • Call 911, seek medical attention immediately.
  • Bring the Safety Data Sheet for the chemical to the doctor when seeking medical attention
  • Report the injury or exposure. Report to Health and Safety and University Personnel. For reporting to University Personnel see Workplace Injuries and Workers' Compensation*

Emergency Shower Operation

Use an emergency shower immediately if your skin is exposed to a hazardous chemical.

The first few seconds after exposure to a hazardous chemical (especially a corrosive chemical) are critical. Delaying treatment, even for a few seconds, may result in irreparable tissue damage. Don't hesitate!

  • Immediately flush the affected area with copious quantities of water for at least 15 minutes. Protect the eyes from inadvertent contamination.
  • Remove contaminated clothing, jewelry, and shoes. Don't let modesty slow you down. Every second counts.
  • Call 911, seek medical attention immediately
  • Bring the Safety Data Sheet for the chemical to the doctor when seeking medical attention
  • Report the injury or exposure. Report to Health and Safety and University Personnel. For reporting to University Personnel see Workplace Injuries and Workers' Compensation*