Emergency Response Procedures: Chemical Spill

Hopefully, your district’s chemical storage looks better than the picture above. But even with careful storage and transportation protocols, sometimes accidents happen.

So what do you do if your district has a chemical spill? Well, before you worry about filing a claim or any kind of paperwork, the first order of business is to stop the spill from spreading and causing more damage. Here are some tips for dealing with a chemical spill on your district’s premises. Note that this advice does not speak to Hazardous Materials or Gasoline/Oil spills. We will cover those in the next couple of issues. Below are tips taken from our Emergency Response Procedures guide book, which is available at no cost to all CSD Pool members. If you would like a copy, you can request one at our website.

In case of a chemical (non-fuel) spill:

  1. Immediately contain the product
  2. Evaluate the spill, ventilate the area, and keep away sources of open flame or other chemicals
  3. Clean the spill:
    • If the spill is extensive, call a contractor
    • Use PPE (gloves, overshoes, goggles, etc.)
    • For bleach, latex paint, anti-freeze, or household chemicals use water
    • For acids, neutralize the substance with baking soda before attempting to clean
    • For oils, enamel paints, thinners, or solvents use absorbents, NEVER use water
  4. Carefully place absorbed materials into sealable, disposable containers
  5. Discard soaked materials
  6. Scrub soiled areas and dispose of the PPE

Note: If the spill is serious or consists of a potentially hazardous substance, please contact the Colorado Department of Public Health at 877-518-5608

In case of accidental exposure

Eyes: Flush with water for 15 minutes and seek immediate medical attention

Skin: Wash completely with soap and water; seek medical attention if irritation or burning occurs

Clothing: Remove contaminated clothing and wash skin completely with soap and water

If you are in doubt about the nature of a material SEEK MEDICAL ATTENTION and be sure to bring product labels and MSDS books with you to the health care facility.

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