Emergency Response Notification
Persons discovering a fire, smoke, gas leak, chemical spill or other emergency are to first notify the following agencies and personnel in accordance with the nature of the emergency:
FIRE ALARM ONLY – UNIVERSITY POLICE – 911
(no evidence of fire)
FIRE – CULLOWHEE FIRE DEPARTMENT – 911
CHEMICAL SPILL/GAS LEAK – UNIVERSITY POLICE – 911
MEDICAL EMERGENCY – SECT – 911
SUMMER – 911
The following information should be provided:
- Callers name and the telephone number in which the caller can be reached.
- Location and nature of emergency, and special considerations (if known) i.e., hazardous chemicals, radiation, injured person, etc.
- The Campus Police will dispatch an officer to the scene of the report and will notify Facilities Management who will also dispatch personnel to the scene.
- The caller or other person knowledgeable in the area where the emergency occurs should meet the responding Police Officer.
Hazardous Materials Incidents
The scope of this section is limited to incidental spills or releases of chemicals or gases which can be safely corrected at the time of the release by either personnel in the work area or by maintenance personnel.
For spills and releases beyond the control of employees at the scene, university personnel will evacuate the release area and call for help from outside emergency responders. Designated Facilities Management workers will attempt to contain the release from a safe distance, keep it from spreading and prevent exposure.
Management of chemical spills and gas leaks usually requires the technical support of the supervisor or faculty member responsible for the material and/or the campus safety officer.
Campus Police Officers and/or the SECT team may be the first to arrive at the site. However, they should not enter spill or gas leak areas without knowledge of the material hazards and protective equipment required.
The following activities should be conducted prior to actual clean up or leak correction:
- Determine the exact physical location of the release (e.g. in a room, hallway, or the floor, in a hood, storage room, on a table etc.) and the quantity.
- Isolate the spill or release as much as possible. Exhaust ventilation should be established if possible.
- Evacuate all personnel from the spill or release area and attend to persons who may have been contaminated.
- Obtain the Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS) or consult the person responsible for the material to identify the material, its chemical and physical properties, hazards presented and the types of protective equipment needed.
- If the material is highly flammable attempt to turn off ignition sources if safe to do so.
- Clean up personnel must wear protective clothing and equipment in accordance with the hazards of the material.
Spills of Chemicals:
Confine the spill material as much as possible.
Use clay Safety absorbent or diatomaceous solid absorbent to absorb any liquid.
Note: A neutralizing agent may be used on inorganic acids and bases but only under the supervision of a laboratory faculty member or the Safety Officer.
If the material is volatile let it evaporate and be exhausted by the mechanical exhaust system if safe to do so.
Carefully pick up cartons or bottles and place in a solid wall box.
Place the absorbed liquid or solid in a plastic or metal container and label the container.
Dispose of residue according to Hazardous Waste Policies.
In cases involving highly flammable or toxic gases immediately dangerous to life the building should be evacuated.
Maintain the mechanical exhaust system if safe to do so.
Gas which is immediately life threatening should be shut off using a self contained breathing unit and full body protection for highly toxic gases.
Leaks, which are not immediately life threatening may be localized with soapy water or a gas, leak detector. For chlorine a squeeze bottle of Aqueous ammonia should be used.
The supplier should be contacted for all leaks that cannot be remedied by a simple act such as tightening a valve gland or packing nut.