10.2 Spill Response Guidance

Collect MSDS’s for all hazardous chemicals that may be used in conjunction with radioactive materials work.  Maintain a call list (daytime and after-hours) of individuals who should be notified in the event of a spill.  Maintain appropriate spill response supplies.  These supplies can be obtained from lab safety suppliers, and the University’s General, Biochemistry and Chemistry Stores.

Some general guidelines include:

  • Report all spills and incidents of personnel contamination to EHS (335-8501) and the principal investigator.
  • Notify others in the area that a spill has occurred and restrict movement of personnel in the area to avoid the spread of contamination.
  • If the spill involves other hazards such as a serious personal injury or fire, call 911.
  • Do not delay medical assistance for personal injuries because of the possibility of contamination.  Inform medical responders of the potential contamination and material involved so that they can take appropriate action.
  • Monitor individuals in spill areas for possible contamination prior to their leaving the area.  Monitoring should include hands, clothing, and soles of shoes.
  • Do not risk contamination to save an experiment unless not doing so would cause a significant safety risk.
  • If necessary, cover the spill with absorbent material to prevent the spread of contamination.
  • Survey the area, as appropriate, to determine the extent of the contamination.
  • Wear appropriate protective apparel such as shoe covers, disposable gloves and a lab coat when cleaning up a radioactive materials spill.