Emergency Procedures for Teaching Laboratories
Last Reviewed: June 8, 2005
If any abnormal incident occurs in the laboratory, immediately notify the instructor, so they can start the necessary emergency procedure. The chemistry faculty and staff are not medical professionals and are unable to provide medical attention or advice. If we have any doubt as to the seriousness of the situation, we will err on the side of caution and call professional assistance. An incident and/or accident form will be completed and filed with the Science Division Office following any abnormal occurrence in the laboratory.
For small cuts, scrapes and first-degree burns (no blisters, no charred skin), notify the instructor and then self-treat at the First Aid Station available in the laboratory.
Chemical spills on the skin are to be washed off immediately with copious amounts of water. If the spill covers a good portion of the body, you are required to enter the safety shower and remove all contaminated clothing with the water running (shower will last approximately 15 minutes). This shower will be conducted, whenever possible, with respect given to the effected person’s privacy. If the eyes are exposed to a chemical, immediately rinse them at one the lab’s eye wash stations. Exposure of the eyes to chemicals will always be treated as a serious injury.
Non-critical situations (e. g., fainting) that require more than self-treatment to remedy, or which may have delayed effects (e. g., chemical spills), will be referred to the Student Health Center. If their staff is able to see the injured person immediately, he/she will be escorted to the Health Center by a stockroom staff member, TA or other personnel. If the Health Center staff cannot see the injured person immediately, it is the responsibility of the injured party to seek follow-up treatment.
In the event of all other injuries, which include (but are not limited to) eye exposure to chemicals, chemical exposure over large areas of the skin, second- and third-degree burns, uncontrollable bleeding, or unconsciousness, 911 will be called. The injured party may refuse treatment and/or transport by the emergency personnel, but will need to sign the waiver that the emergency personnel will provide. The student is responsible for all fees associated with this call.
Fires, Spills and Explosions
The first priority of an individual in case of fire, spill or explosion is to protect themselves from injury. If the fire/spill/explosion is in the hood, close the sash and back away. For fires/spills/explosions on the bench top, back away as quickly and safely as you can. Notify the instructor and your classmates to the situation. Do not attempt to fight a fire. Leave the room, as directed by your instructor, TA, or stockroom personnel. The instructor and stockroom personnel will assess the situation and decide on a course of action.
If you are on fire, stop, drop and roll. You should not attempt to get to a fire blanket; someone else will help you (just as you should help a fellow classmate who is on fire). The burned individual will be treated as outlined above, depending on the severity of their injuries.