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INITIAL RESPONSE TO SMALL LABORATORY SPILLS *Safe and quick response to small laboratory spills Rob Provost Manager, Environmental Protection.

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Presentation on theme: "INITIAL RESPONSE TO SMALL LABORATORY SPILLS *Safe and quick response to small laboratory spills Rob Provost Manager, Environmental Protection."— Presentation transcript:

1 INITIAL RESPONSE TO SMALL LABORATORY SPILLS *Safe and quick response to small laboratory spills Rob Provost Manager, Environmental Protection

2 Office of Environmental Health and Safety “A Little Preparation Goes A Long Way..”  Know the Hazards of the Chemicals you work with everyday  Wear Personal Protective Equipment EVERYTIME you handle Chemicals  Understand and Know the location of the MSDS of the Chemicals you handle  Keep handy SOME Spill Cleanup Supplies

3 Office of Environmental Health and Safety Ministry of the Environment (MOE) Definition  “spill”, when used with reference to a pollutant, means a discharge, (a) into the natural environment, (b) from or out of a structure, vehicle or other container, and (c) that is abnormal in quality or quantity in light of all the circumstances of the discharge, and when used as a verb has a corresponding meaning; (“déversement”, “déverser”)

4 Office of Environmental Health and Safety What is a SMALL SPILL??  Physical state of spill material (ie. Solid, Liquid or Gas)  Quantity of material  Hazards of the material (Flammable, Corrosive or Toxicity)  Hazardous Conditions Caused by the spill  Has someone been Contaminated by the spill The size and cleanup difficulty of the spill can be determined by several different factors:

5 Office of Environmental Health and Safety Physical State of Material  Solid Spills are easier to control and cleanup than liquids  Identified Liquid spills < 1L can be controlled and absorbed with appropriate supplies  NEVER attempt to stop a stuck or broken gas cylinder… Evacuate the AREA and Call UofT Police !

6 Office of Environmental Health and Safety Spill Quantity  Any size spill can be cleaned up IF you have the right equipment available!  If possible do enough to prevent progress of spill  Solids spills can be scooped back into a jar or beaker  Liquids can be absorbed with paper towels, bench coat or cloth to control it

7 Office of Environmental Health and Safety Hazards of the Material  Vapours produced from spills cause the MOST hazards, either Toxic or Flammable  Corrosive Solids and Liquids can react with the response materials  HIGH vapour pressure usually is an indication of a volatile liquid  NEVER response to unknown spill alone

8 Office of Environmental Health and Safety Conditions Caused by Spill  Solids or Viscous Liquids can make moving around slippery and dangerous  Location of Spill can make exiting hazardous  Try not to contaminate clean areas with the spill material  Extinguish any sources of ignition if spill contains flammable materials  Make sure Fume Hoods are running!

9 Office of Environmental Health and Safety Contamination of Personnel  First Priority should be given to any people who are contaminated  Removing contaminated clothing to prevent further contact  Flush contaminated area with water for NO less than fifteen minutes  Seek Immediate Medical Attention

10 Office of Environmental Health and Safety Cleanup Procedures  STOP - THINK! Do not rush. Carefully plan cleanup.  Attend to any persons who may have been contaminated  Post signs to identify the hazard and control access  Review MSDS for Hazards and Cleanup suggestions or consult a Chemical Dictionary hazards  Determine whether it can be handled safely  Contact Environmental Protection Services (EPS) for Assistance  Eliminate all ignition sources if flammable material is involved.  Turn on fumehoods to capture or direct flow of vapours

11 Office of Environmental Health and Safety Cleanup Procedures cont’d  Don personal protective equipment, as appropriate to the hazards.  Try to confine the spill to a small area. Do not allow the material to spread.  Carefully remove other materials, containers, equipment from path of the spill.  Absorb any liquids with absorbent or available supplies  Sweep solids of low toxicity into a dust pan and place into container for disposal (NOTE: Do NOT use BIO or RAD Bags for disposal of Chemical Waste)

12 Office of Environmental Health and Safety Cleanup Procedures cont’d  Dispose of all cleanup materials as hazardous waste.  Waste must be properly packaged in a leakproof container, sealed and labelled with a hazardous waste label.  Handle the waste the same way you would any other chemical waste produced from your lab.  Then report the incident to supervisor and Environmental Health and Safety and to the local joint health and safety committee. Use the "Accident/Incident/Occupational Disease Report" form.

13 Office of Environmental Health and Safety Response Chart Spill State Gas / Liquid / Solid Hazard Contact Inhalation Hazard Contact Inhalation Hazard Contact Protection SCBA Encapsulating Suit Protection Vapour Resp. Gloves, Boots, Coveralls Protection Dust Mask Gloves Containment Vent remove Containment Neutralize & Absorb Containment Sweep

14 Office of Environmental Health and Safety Cleanup Techniques 1.Protect floor drains or other means for environmental release. Spill socks and absorbents may be placed around drains, as needed. 2.Contain and clean-up the spill with the appropriate material. 3.Loose spill control materials should be distributed over the entire spill area, working from the outside, circling to the inside. This reduces the chance of splash or spread of the spilled chemical. 4.When spilled materials have been absorbed, use brush and scoop to place materials in an appropriate container. Polyethylene bags may be used for small spills. Five gallon pails may be appropriate for larger quantities.

15 Office of Environmental Health and Safety Spill Cleanup Supplies  Warning Sign  Broom and Dustpan  Disposal Container, any leakproof container  Hazardous Waste Label  Warning Sign  Absorbent material  Broom and Dustpan  Disposal Container, any leakproof container  Hazardous Waste Label SolidsLiquids

16 Office of Environmental Health and Safety Personal Protective Equipment Already in Lab: Safety Glasses or Goggles Nitrile Gloves Lab coat or Apron Extra Supplies: Neoprene Gloves Shoe Covers Respirator

17 Office of Environmental Health and Safety Mercury Spills One of the most common spills at U of T is a Mercury Spill. Either from a Thermometer or a leak of elemental Mercury.  Initial Hazard is from contact, wear gloves while cleaning  Use damp cloth or tissue to wipe mercury into disposal container or syringe (without sharp) to vacuum up droplets  Be CAREFUL of broken glass if thermometer was involved  Also dispose of any equipment contaminated that cannot be properly cleaned  Should the Mercury persist contact EPS for the area to be vacuumed clean

18 Office of Environmental Health and Safety Leaking Cylinders The most dangerous spill situation is a leaking or broken gas cylinder, for two reasons. The gas contained in the cylinder can be either toxic, flammable, corrosive, an asphyxiant or a combination of these.  Initially evacuate the area, have someone contact UofT Police while finding someone who knows what the cylinder contains  Try to isolate the area affected by gas through ventilation controls, fume hoods and securing doors  Signage of the hazard is important to control exposure

19 Office of Environmental Health and Safety Post Spill Duties After the spill is cleaned up and the material collected has been labelled and stored for proper hazardous disposal, what then?.  May need to limit access to the area until the air has be refreshed  Reports of the incident should be made to Environmental Health and Safety and to the local joint health and safety committee  Notify Caretaking for further cleaning and restoring the area affected  Remove any warning signs from the area  Restock the supply used !

20 Office of Environmental Health and Safety ‘Who You Going To Call?’ Environmental Protection Services Weekdays (8AM to 4PM) or U of T Police for After Hours Response Please state type of spill, quantity, location, contact person and phone number. If you can’t safely handle the spill CALL:


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