A hazardous material is any substance or agent (biological, chemical, radiological, and/or physical) capable of posing an unreasonable risk to humans, the environment, and property.
In ALL hazardous material emergency situations, the primary concern is the protection of personnel. The secondary concern is to confine the contamination, but ONLY if you are specifically trained under 29 CFR 1910.120 to do so.
The release or spill of hazardous materials will require a different response based on a variety of factors, including the amount, type, and location of the spill. All personnel should be aware of the cleanup procedures for the
material with which they are working.
EMERGENCY RESPONSE PROCEDURES: CHEMICAL, BIOHAZARDOUS, AND RADIOACTIVE SPILLS
In case of emergency such as injury or illness, major spill, or theft of hazardous material, immediately contact the University Police at 617-627-6911.
In addition to contacting the University Police for an injury or illness needing medical attention, personnel must notify their immediate supervisor and the Tufts Laboratory Safety Group (email@example.com) of an injury or illness resulting from exposure to hazardous materials. In addition, supervisors—and personnel whom they oversee—are responsible for completing the Tufts Accident/Incident Report Form at viceprovost.tufts.edu/accident-and-incident-reporting-tufts-university.
Chemical Exposure to Skin:
Chemical Exposure to Skin—Serious:
Chemicals in Eyes:
Smoke or other Airborne Contaminants:
Clothing or Laboratory Coat on Fire (Stop, Drop, and Roll):
There is a wide range of chemicals in the workplace. The safe cleanup of a chemical spill requires knowledge of the properties and hazards posed by the chemical and any added dangers posed by the location of the spill. If you believe a spill is beyond your capacity to clean up, do not attempt to do so on your own; STOP and contact the University Police. Spill kits with absorbents, neutralizing agents if applicable, protective equipment, and sealable waste buckets should be present in the workplace. Refer to the chemical Safety Data Sheet (SDS) for specific guidance on the chemical’s hazards and spill cleanup.
A minor spill is characterized by all of the following criteria:
Note: There are spills and releases that could meet the definition of a minor spill as described above, but still pose a significant hazard. If any of the following criteria is met, these should be classified as a Major Spill.
Minor Spill Cleanup:
A major spill is characterized by any of the following criteria:
Note: There are select high hazard labs that have response procedures specific to the lab itself. These may be different than the instructions noted below for a Major Spill and should be referenced.
For a Major Spill or Leak:
The release or spill of biohazardous material will require a different response based on several factors, including the actual agent and the associated risks, the amount of material spilled, and type and location of the spill. The following guidelines provide a quick reference for employees responding to a biohazardous spill. Each lab working with biohazardous material should have its own specific spill-response procedure, which is outlined in the Biological Materials Registration (also called the IBC Registration) for the lab/project. The spill clean-up procedure in the registration should specify the appropriate disinfectant to use.
Lab personnel: Be sure that you have received training on the spill clean-up procedure outlined in the IBC Registration before attempting to clean up the spill. Non-lab personnel: Consult with your supervisor to be sure you have received the specialized training before attempting to clean up a spill. In general:
The primary concern with a release or spill inside a Biosafety Cabinet (BSC) is decontaminating material inside the BSC, including the person’s hands and arms, any equipment located in the BSC, and the surface of the BSC itself.
If exposure occurred, please refer to the appropriate Exposure Response Plan for the biological agent. Information about exposure response plans, seeking medical advice, and reporting requirements are posted on online at viceprovost.tufts. edu/biosafety-accidents-incidents.
A Spill of Materials outside of a BSC in a BSL1 or BSL2 Lab
If the agent involved in the spill is infectious via mucous membrane exposure or inhalation and the spill has resulted in the creation of aerosols, the lab should be evacuated for 30 minutes to allow the aerosols to settle.
If the spill is large, such as more than 500 ml, or if it has created gross contamination of the area, call the University Police at 617-617-6911 for assistance.
The quantity of radioactive materials used in research at Tufts University is small, and the type of radiation produced from such materials is incapable of traveling far and posing significant external radiation dose concerns. Additional radiation protection precaution is exercised when accessing areas (i.e., Nuclear Medicine/Radiology) handling large quantities of x-ray/gamma emitting sources at the Grafton Veterinary Medicine Facility.
Radiological contamination control and assessment should be considered during any emergency response involving radioactive materials for these reasons: to prevent further spread of contamination, allow for prompt decontamination of surfaces and personnel, accurately communicate contamination to offsite services (i.e., ambulatory services, hospital radiation safety officer), and to assess level of radiation dose experienced by personnel.
Medical assistance should not be withheld or delayed in situations involving personal contamination.
(Less than 1mCi in controlled areas not involving personal contamination)
(Greater than 1mCi, all spills in uncontrolled areas and spills involving personnel contamination.)
In the event of a fuel (gasoline or diesel) or oil (heating, hydraulic, transformer, or grease/cooking oil) spill, the Tufts Spill Prevention and Countermeasure Control Plan identifies an oil SPCC coordinator. The oil SPCC coordinator may be reached through the University Police at 617-627-6911. Spills are categorized as either minor or major spills. Any spill that can be controlled with a spill kit is minor. If the spill can’t be controlled with a spill kit, it is considered major and will require an immediate response by an oil/fuel spill cleanup firm. The oil SPCC coordinator can engage emergency response firms. Additionally, the SPCC coordinator and the Facilities Services department maintain a small inventory of spill kits to control the spread of these liquids. Regardless of whether a spill is minor or major, the oil SPCC coordinator must be notified of all fuel and oil spills as soon as possible. Depending on the quantity of fuel or oil spilled and where the spill occurred, regulatory reporting requirements dictate that the incident be reported in as little as two hours. For additional information, please contact IndustrialHygiene@tufts.edu.