How to Clean an Incidental Spill of Hazardous Materials

These safety practices shall be followed where a hazard exists for an employee because of an incidental spill of hazardous materials. An incidental spill is one that does not cause death or serious injury to employees (typically ½ gallon or less) and is capable of being contained with a department provided spill kit.

Incidental Hazardous Material Spill Response:

  1. Communicate the hazard: notify your manager or supervisor that a spill has occurred, notify people in the area to remain clear of the spill.
  2. Review the Safety Data Sheet for accidental release measures (typically section 6).
  3. Locate the department provided spill kit, remove and inspect equipment required for cleanup.
  4. Don the appropriate PPE necessary to safely interact with the spilled material. Gloves are always required.
  5. Deploy the absorbent sock in the manner that best contains the spill. The first priority would be to protect a drain that the hazardous material could leak into. The next priority would be around the spill itself.
  6. If necessary, pick up the container that is leaking to prevent continued leakage. This step would not be necessary if the container were shattered during the spill event.
  7. Use tongs or a broom and dust pan to pick up glass shards and carefully place in a trash bag from the spill kit.
  8. Cover the spill completely with absorbent pads. Wait a few minutes to ensure the material has been absorbed.
  9. Once the spill has been cleaned, placed the used absorbent sock (if contaminated) and all of the pads into the trash bag.
  10. Tie the trash bag with the ties provided in the spill kit, double bag if necessary.
  11. Label the outer bag with the labels provided. This bag is now hazardous waste, and a label is legally required.
  12. Contact your department Instructional Support Technician or the Department of Environmental Health and Safety for removal.

Code of Safe Practices are prepared by SSU Dept. of Environmental Health and Safety