Laboratory Emergency Preparedness | Duke Kunshan University

Laboratory Emergency Preparedness

Emergency Preparedness

Emergency Contacts

  • Fire: 119
  • Ambulance: 120
  • Police: 110
  • Campus Emergency Hotline:  0512-3665-7110
  • Office of Environmental Health and Safety: 0512-3665-7281

Emergency Procedures

CHEMICAL SPILL

Chemical spills must be cleaned up immediately only by well trained and experienced laboratory personnel.  Clean up the spill only if the following conditions are met:

  • You know what the chemicals are and the hazards associate with it.
  • You understand the clean-up protocols and you have adequate clean up materials in the laboratory.
  • You have the proper Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) to do the clean-up.
  • If you feel comfortable and feel that no personal injuries will result from cleaning the spill.

Do not clean up the spill if:

  • The chemical hazard is toxic or poisonous.
  • The chemical is highly flammable or toxic.
  • A secondary situation exist (i.e fire).
  • You are not comfortable doing the clean-up.

Chemical spill kits shall be available in every laboratory that store or use hazardous chemicals.  The contents of the kit should include materials for cleaning up a spill for all chemicals in the lab such as:

  • Neutralizing agents for acids and bases
  • Absorbents for highly reactive acids and flammable solvents
  • Scraper and Scoop for collecting absorbed materials
  • Chemical resistant gloves
  • Safety glasses
  • Hazardous material disposal bags or appropriate containers for collecting spill materials for disposal

Minor chemical spill:

Minor spill is when:

  • The chemical spilled has a low to moderate hazard;
  • The chemical spilled does not present an immediate fire, safety, environmental or health hazard.
  • Laboratory personnel have sufficient equipment and supplies to properly clean up the spill.

Minor chemical spill procedures:

  • Alert people in the surrounding immediately of the spill.
  • Help anyone who has been contaminated. Use the emergency shower/eyewash and flush skin or eye for about 15 minutes.
  • Turn off all ignition sources (flames, electrical devices) near the spill area.
  • Check the SDS and/or container label for proper personal protective equipment to wear and procedures for cleaning up the spill. Contact the Office of Environmental Health & Safety if needed.
  • Confine and contain the spill using the appropriate absorbent material. Do not let it spread.
  • Use the appropriate kit to neutralize and absorb acids and bases.  Collect the residue in a clear plastic bag, place in the appropriate container, label the container with contents, and dispose of it as hazardous chemical waste.  Do not dispose of the chemical in the sink or in the trash can.
  • For other chemicals, absorb the spill with the appropriate absorbents.  Collect the residues in a clear plastic bag, place in the appropriate container, label the container with contents, and dispose of as hazardous chemical waste.  Do not dispose of the chemical in the sink or in the trash can.
  • Mope the spilled area with a wet mop.

Major Chemical Spill:

Major spill is when:

  • The spilled chemical presents an immediate fire, safety, environmental or health hazard.
  • Too much of a chemical has been spilled for the amount of absorbent in the laboratory.
  • The spilled chemical is highly dangerous or unknown material.
  • If you have concerns about your safety such as “should I be wearing a respirator to do this?”

For a major chemical spill, do not attempt to clean up the spill.  Report major chemical spills the Office of Environmental Health & Safety immediately at 3665-7281. 

Major Chemical Spill Procedures:

  • Notify people in the vicinity immediately of a chemical spill.
  • Attend to the injured or contaminated persons in the area. Use the emergency shower/eyewash and flush skin or eye for about 15 minutes.
  • Turn off all ignition sources (flames, electrical devices) if it is safe to do so.
  • Confine the spill if it is safe and you feel comfortable doing so.
  • Evacuate the laboratory and close the door if there is a potential for personal injuries or exposure. Pull the building alarm, if building evacuation is necessary because:
    • A chemical reaction creates a fire or there exist a potential for a fire.
    • The vapors are permeating the building.
  • Call the Office of Environmental Health & Safety by dialing 3665-7281 to report the chemical spill immediately.  Provide as much information as possible.
    • What chemicals(s) are involved.
    • Where is the spill located.
    • Approximate quantity of the material spilled.
    • Nature of injuries (if any).
    • What control measures have been taken.
    • Name and phone.
    • Location of incident.

Chemical Spill during Transportation, Outside the Laboratory

  • When transporting chemicals, use a secondary container. If a chemical spill occurs, do not try to clean the spill without any personal protective equipment.
  • Secure the area and notify the people around of the spill. Do not let anyone get near the spill.
  • Call the Office of Environmental Health & Safety by dialing 3665-7281 to report the chemical spill immediately.  Provide as much information as possible:
    • What chemicals (s) are involved.
    • Where is the spill located.
    • Approximate quantity of the material spilled.
    • Nature of injuries (if any).
    • What control measures have been taken.
    • Name and phone.
    • Location of incident. 

Chemical Exposure to Skin- Minor

  • Immediately flush the affected area with water for at least 15 minutes.
  • Seek medical attention through the Campus Health Center if a reaction occurs or if there are concerns.

Chemical Exposure to Skin-Serious

  • Remove all contaminated clothing.  For extensive exposure, remove all clothing, including shoes.
  • Go to nearest emergency shower and flush the affected area with water for at least 15 minutes.
  • Have someone call the Office of Environmental Health & Safety immediately by dialing 3665-7281.
  • Seek medical attention immediately whether symptom or no symptoms persist.

Fire Emergency

When to use Fire Extinguisher

For your own safety, do not attempt to use a fire extinguisher to extinguish a fire if you do not feel comfortable or have not been trained.  Before using a fire extinguisher, you need to make an assessment of the fire.  If the fire is larger than the size of a regular office trash can, do not try to extinguish the fire using the fire extinguisher.  Moreover, do not use a fire extinguisher for a gas fire fueled by open valve or broken line; shut down the source before extinguishing the fire.

Small Fire

A small fire is a fire that is smaller than the size of a regular office trash can.  The following procedure can be used during a small fire:

  • Alert the people in the vicinity of a fire.
  • A fire within a contained vessel can easily be smothered by using a flame-resistant beaker, or equivalent, if it is safe to do so.
  • Use a fully operational fire extinguisher to extinguish a small fire.
  • Once you completely extinguish the fire, report the incident to the Office of Environmental Health and Safety.

Large Fire:

A large fire is a fire that is larger than the size of a regular office’s trash can.  Do not try to extinguish large fire using a fire extinguisher.  The following procedures can be used in the event of a large fire:

  • Alert people in the vicinity of a fire.
  • Exit the lab and contain the fire by closing the lab door.  If the fire occurs in the fume hood, close the hood’s sash.
  • Activate the nearest alarm pull station.
  • Contact the local Fire Department by dialing 119. 
  • Evacuate the building using the stairwells.  Never use the elevator to exit the building.
  • Do not re-enter the building without emergency response personnel authorization.

When Your Clothes Catch on Fire

  • When your clothes catch on fire, the best course of action is to “Stop-Drop-Roll-Roll-Roll.”  This will help to smother the fire.  Protect your face with your hands.  During this time, remember to yell for help!
  • Use a safety shower immediately if one is available.
  • If possible, remove contaminated clothing and cover injured person to prevent shock.
  • Seek immediate medical attention.