2.3 Building Occupant Notification

2.3.1 Occupant Notification in Spill Area Minor Spill:

  • Immediately notify building occupants, those who are impacted directly or reasonably anticipated to be affected by the chemical spill.
  • Notify the BET about the spill details so they may respond to other building occupant questions as they arise.
  • During the spill response process, continue to assess the extent of the affected area of the spill in case additional staff need to be notified about the spill. Major Spill:

  • Immediately notify building occupants, those who are impacted directly or reasonably anticipated to be affected by the chemical spill.
  • Dial 911 to report the spill and any need for medical attention; be prepared to provide details about the spill
  • Notify the BET as soon as possible; be prepared to provide details of the spill. Complete the spill information form and obtain the necessary SDSs.
  • Complete the Emergency Responders Information Form found in attachment 7.2.

2.3.2 Evacuation of a Building Floor

  • Based upon the size of the affected area, it may be necessary to evacuate an entire floor of a building especially when the floor is served by a single ventilation system. These factors should be determined as part of emergency preparedness planning.
  • Notification should be by word of mouth rather than utilizing the building fire alarm system, unless the alarm is zoned for the floor only. Prior planning is necessary.
  • At your point of assembly outside the building, account for all personnel; be prepared to let emergency responders whether or not all personnel are accounted for. See section 3.5 for information about evacuation maps.

2.3.3 Evacuation of a Building

  • Based upon the size of the affected area, it may be necessary to evacuate the entire building.
  • Include a contact list for the BET along with the evacuation plan and instructions on when and under what circumstances the team needs to be contacted. An example chain of contact is: personnel become aware of the spill; they notify co-workers and their supervisor; the supervisor or the person who discovered the spill immediately notifies the BET.
  • Devise an evacuation plan and distribute to all members of the BET. Place the evacuation plan in prominent areas throughout the building or department. Distribute copies of the plan and discuss it with all permanent occupants of the area(s) in question.
  • Include maps of the building showing evacuation routes and assembly areas located outside the evacuation zone. Use the plan to evacuate any sized area, from a single room or floor to the entire building.
  • Determine how best to notify personnel when an emergency situation exists and when they must evacuate through prior planning. Notification may be accomplished in several ways:
  1. Use the fire alarm PA system to announce a spill.1
  2. Verbally warn people either by phone or by physically going to each area.
  3. Notify by E-mail list.2
  • The BET implements the EPP and notifies building personnel.
  • BET member takes Go-Kit from building.

*  1.  Use of the fire alarm PA system must be coordinated with Facilities Management to determine if it is possible to add a message, and whether or not it is allowed by the Iowa City Fire Department. A determination will need to be made as to whether or not it is permissible to use the fire alarm to evacuate the building under non-fire circumstances.

*  2.  E-mail notifications should be used for non-emergency correspondence only, such as alerting personnel to a minor spill or informing those who are not present during a major spill.

2.3.4 Laboratory Shut Down Procedure

  • During an incident it may be necessary to evacuate one or more of the affected buildings laboratories.
  • Laboratory personnel should be informed as soon as possible that they may be affected by an evacuation and that they may need to shut down any on-going experiments.
  • Each laboratory needs to have a plan in place detailing steps to be taken in the event of a laboratory shut down or building evacuation.
  • This plan should include:
  1. Safe shut down or storage of ongoing experiments,
  2. Storage of hazardous materials in use.
  3. Effect of electrical outage on lab and how best to mitigate any problems that may occur.
  4. Effect of ventilation/hoods/glove boxes being shut down on lab equipment or experiments.
  5. Equipment shut down.
  6. List of any special problems/hazardous that may occur if lab personnel are unable to implement shut down procedures due to rapidity of building evacuation.
  • This procedure should be made available to all personnel working in the laboratory.