Chemical Spills

What to Do:

  • Call the Department of Public Safety at 911 or activate a blue light phone tower.
  • If you have received training to do so, isolate and secure the area where the spill occurred.
  • Warn others in the immediate area to stay away from the area of the spill.
  • If the material is known to be volatile and flammable, control sources of ignition and ventilate the area where possible.
  • Remain available to provide information to responding university personnel.
  • Faculty, staff and students trained in chemical spill response are permitted to clean up small scale spills of hazardous materials, up to one gallon. For more information, go to the EHS spill response procedures page.

If the chemical has been released down the drain, into sewers, into waterways or spilled on soil, we must report the incident to the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection immediately. In addition to the procedures listed above:

  • Do not wash spilled material into building or storm drains.
  • Environmental Health and Safety will report the incident according to the University procedures for reporting spills to the environment.

Spills Requiring Assistance from Resources Outside the University

Some spills may be beyond the institution’s resource capability to remediate. The university maintains contracts with environmental remediation companies capable of providing emergency assistance for large scale or complex chemical spills.

If You are Exposed to the Spilled Material:

  • Rinse with water, preferably using an emergency eyewash/safety shower.
  • Remove contaminated clothing while rinsing.
  • Report information about the spilled material to first responders.
  • See Information on Hazardous Chemical Exposures for more information.

Spill Clean Up

If your role within the institution includes spill clean-up responsibilities, refer to Spill Response and Clean-up Procedures for more information.