Chemical Spills

The range and quantity of hazardous substances used in WSU laboratories require pre-planning to respond safely to a chemical spill.  Call WSU Police Department at 577-2222 for any chemical spills.  If you have a doubt whether a spill can be safely and effectively cleaned up by staff in the lab, call the Office of Environmental Health and Safety at 577-1200.

If a chemical spill occurs:

  1. Call WSU Police Department at 577-2222.
  2. Remain Calm.
  3. Alert persons in immediate area of spill.
  4. Without endangering yourself, attend to any injured or contaminated victims:
  • Move victims to fresh air/ safe place.
  • Remove contaminated clothing.
  • Wait for police and emergency responders in a safe area.
  1. In the event of chemical spill where you need assistance, but the spill is not immediate threat to life or health, follow these steps:

  • Confine the spill area: close doors, isolate area, evacuate if necessary.
  • Alert others in the area and tell them to evacuate area if necessary.
  • From safe locations, report the spill to Office of Environmental Health and Safety at 577-1200.
  • Report your name, location and the name of the material spilled.
  • Stay in the area until the emergency responders arrive so that you can answer any additional questions.
  1. If chemical spill is flammable, turn off all ignition and heat sources. Evacuate area if necessary.

If a chemical fire occurs:

  1. Proceed to nearest fire alarm pull station and activate same.
  2. Call WSU Police Department at 577-2222.
  3. If you have been properly trained and/or experienced in the use of a portable fire extinguisher and fire is small, you may proceed to nearest ABC or CO2 fire extinguisher.
  4. Extinguish fire using PASS Method.

Pull pin

Aim nozzle at base of fire

Squeeze lever

Sweep extinguisher side to side.

  1. If the chemical is toxic and cannot be extinguished with a portable fire extinguisher, evacuate the area and close all doors.

The Enterprise Risk Management & Insurance Programs' Fire Safety Marshal provides fire extinguisher training and evacuation training for all laboratory personnel.