A chemical spill is defined as the uncontrolled release of a hazardous chemical, either as a solid, liquid, or a gas. Chemical spills at Keck Graduate Institute may occur in a variety of worksites, from research and teaching laboratories, to facilities operations. The challenges related to dealing with chemical spills will vary with the type and volume of chemical involved. Chemical spills in laboratories generally involve small volumes of a potentially large number of chemicals.

Regardless of the type or quantity of hazardous chemical involved, all worksites must implement measures to reduce the potential for spills and have a plan for responding to chemical spills. The chemical spill response guideline describes generic methods for preventing chemical spills, responding to spills of low or moderate hazard and information on reporting and addressing higher hazard chemical spills.

Chemical Spill Response Guideline

Roles and Responsibilities

The Chemical Spill Team and Team Captain

  • Provide assistance in response to chemical spills. The extent to which the spill team and other personnel respond to chemical spills will vary with policy.
  • The Spill Team Captain will coordinate response and summoning of additional response personnel, and will be available after hours to provide assistance in the event of a spill.

The Employee

Under the OH&S Act, the employee has an obligation to protect their own health and safety and that of other workers present while they are working. The employee is also expected to cooperate with their employer for the purpose of protecting their health and safety and that of other employees.

The Supervisor or Principal Investigator

Supervisors and Principal Investigators when involved in the supervision of staff members, students, post doctoral fellows or others are responsible for performing the duties of the employer specified under the Act as designated representatives of the University. Specifically, these include:

  • Ensuring that an adequate number of persons are trained in chemical spill response for their specific area.
  • Provide site-specific training for their area.
  • Ensuring there is sufficient and appropriate spill response supplies in their area.
  • Take all necessary steps to minimize the chance of spills when working with chemicals.