13.1 Basic Steps for Emergencies, Major Spill, and Other Problems

Any Emergency – Call 911

Fire, Explosion, Police, Ambulance, Rescue, Evacuation

Major Spill - Call 911

A major spill is one that is spreading rapidly presents inhalation or fire hazards, has entered the environment, or exceeds the capability of the user to respond.

  • Alert others to leave spill area.
  • Remove ignition sources, shut down equipment, close fume hood sash, open
  • windows, as appropriate.
  • Close doors to room.
  • Assemble at a safe distance and location.
  • Wait and provide information to Emergency Responders.

Personal Injury

Body or Eye Splashes

  • Assist person with use of body shower and/or eye wash equipment.
  • Flush body and/or eyes with water for at least 15 minutes.
  • Remove contaminated clothing while under body shower.
  • Wash skin with mild soap and water - do not use neutralizing agents, creams, lotions or salve.
  • Seek medical attention.

Medical Treatment Needs


Report to UIHC Emergency Treatment Center (24 hours, 7 days).

Vehicle Transport Assistance

If needed, call Department of Public Safety, 335-5022.

Non-emergency work-related needs

During normal business hours, call or check with UI HealthWorks (319-665-2111) located on Highway 965 in North Liberty.

Inhalation Hazards

Rescue or Evacuation

Call 911

Non-emergency evacuation

Call 335-5022, Department of Public Safety

Non-emergency technical assistance

Call 335-8501, Environmental Health & Safety.

Radioactive Materials Notification

Notify EHS of all radioactive materials spills and instances of personal contamination without delay. During normal business hours call 335-8501. After hours call Department of Public Safety at 335-5022.

Note: Radioactive materials spill response procedures must be developed and readily available to personnel. Consult The University of Iowa’s “Radiation Protection Guide for Radioactive Materials Use in the Basic Sciences” or contact EHS when developing radioactive materials emergency and spill response information pertinent to your lab, or call 335-8501.

Environmental Release and Oil Spill Notifications

For suspect or known s to the environment (air, water, land, drains) notify the Environmental Health & Safety or Environmental Compliance Manager during regular business hours. After hours call Department of Public Safety at 335-5022 for non-emergencies or 911 for emergencies. Notifications must be made to regulatory agencies immediately and not later than six hours for actual or suspect environmental releases.

Power Outages

Contact Work Control Center 335-5071 (24 hours/7 days)

  • Place lids on open containers of volatile chemicals.
  • Lower the sash on chemical fume hoods.
  • Turn off ignition sources.
  • Shut down equipment (leave cooling water, purge gases on as necessary).
  • Secure or isolate reactions that are underway (boiling liquids, distillations).