Laboratory Safety Manual
Reviewed May 2012
Chapter 1: Emergency Response
Section 1.1 - Chemical Spills
B. Minor Spills
Minor spills are those spills which do not fit the requirements for Emergency Spills.
The following general procedures should be used for all minor spills:
- Attend to any persons who may have been contaminated. If these persons require medical attention
this is an Emergency Spill (See above).
- Notify persons in the immediate area about the spill.
- Evacuate all nonessential personnel from the spill area.
- If the spilled material is flammable, turn off ignition and heat sources.
- Avoid breathing vapors of the spilled material. If respiratory protection is necessary this is
an Emergency Spill (see above).
- Leave on or establish exhaust ventilation if it is safe to do so.
- Secure supplies to effect cleanup.
Don appropriate personnel protective equipment.
- Generally, sweep spilled solids of low toxicity into a dust pan and place them into a container
suitable for that chemical. Additional precautions such as the use of a vacuum cleaner
equipped with a HEPA filter may be necessary when cleaning up spills of more highly toxic
- Dispose of residues according to safe disposal procedures. Remembering that personal protective
equipment, brooms, dust pans, and other items may require special disposal procedures. (See Section 3.4 - "Chemical Waste").
- Report the chemical spill in writing as required above.
Emergency Response Mercury Spills