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Type: University Policy
Division: Public Safety

Contact Phone Number: 503-838-8481
Contact Email Address: safety@wou.edu

Hazardous Chemical Spill/Exposure Response
Vice President for Finance and Administration Campus Public Safety

The purpose of this policy is to respond to chemical spills and/or exposures through emergency response that provides priorities to life safety, preservation of property and restoration of academic programs.

WOU campus community



OAR 437:




It is the policy of Western Oregon University to comply with OAR 437 and 29 CFR 1910.1200 in responding to hazardous chemical spills and exposures. Emergency response consists of responding, identifying, alerting, evacuation, medical intervention and decontamination. This policy is in conjunction with WOU’s "Emergencies, Natural Disasters" procedure in the event a chemical spill or exposure should become a disaster.



1. Hazardous Chemical Exposure or Spills may consist of:

* Chemical Release into the environment above the manufacturer’s suggested level of safety. The same chemical(s) may not pose a threat in low concentrations; however, in large concentrations the exposure may be harmful or fatal.

* Fume/vapor exposure may occur and cause a sense of burning or irritation to the mouth, nose, throat, chest or eyes; dizziness; nausea; or presence of a strong odor may exist.

* Unconsciousness of a person in or around chemicals. This area should not be entered into until the cause of unconsciousness is determined, proper personal equipment is used and appropriate emergency personnel notified to respond.

* Skin/eye contact - with a hazardous chemical should be treated as described on the first aid section of the Safety Data Sheet (SDS). 


2. Reporting Hazardous Chemical Spill/Exposure - In the event a hazardous chemical spill or exposure occurs the following should take place: 

* Leave the area immediately;

* Alarm - alert others of potential hazard;

* Call Campus Public Safety at 8-9000 to respond and provide:

a. location of building, room, landmark

b. description of chemical, if known

c. number of persons exposed to a hazardous chemical and potential first aid needed

d. your name and phone number for call back

* Secure the area by preventing persons from entering until Campus Public Safety arrives


3. Campus Public Safety Response to Chemical Spill or Exposure - When Campus Public Safety responds, the following will occur:

* Analysis - Public Safety officers will, as a first responder, analyze the chemical spill.

* Evacuate - Public Safety officers will evacuate all persons to a safe area.

* Additional Resources - Public Safety officers will determine what resources are required, including medical assistance, fire and life safety support, hazardous response team, etc.

* Secure Scene - The exposure area will be secured to prevent unauthorized entry.

* Provide First Aid - First aid will be provided to victims to reduce exposure, which may include water dilution, ventilation, etc. 


4. Remedial, Cleanup - In the event a chemical spill or exposure occurs requiring remedial cleanup, the following must occur:

a. Site Evaluation:

1) Identify the hazardous chemical(s) through monitoring SDS and control chemical spill or exposure from enlarging.

2) If the chemical cannot be identified and/or containment cannot be made, Polk County Fire District #1 will be requested to respond.

3) Level of Protection - All persons who perform site evaluation or decontamination are required to wear the level of protection of A, B, C or D, depending on the hazardous chemical:

Level A - Self-contained breathing apparatus with fully encapsulating suit

Level B - Self-contained breathing apparatus and chemically resistant suit

Level C – Full-face piece respirator and chemically resistant clothing

Level D - No respirator required.  Boots, gloves and coveralls are required

b. Remediate Hazardous Chemical(s) - If a hazardous chemical can be remediated by Western Oregon University staff, two certified hazardous waste site operations personnel from Campus Public Safety/Physical Plant will perform the following per 29CFR1910.120:

* Site characterization and analysis

* Site control

* Monitoring

* Container handling

* Decontamination 

In addition, the site operations personnel are required to have in place prior to hazardous chemical response:

* Certification card

* Safety and health program

* Training

* Medical surveillance

* Engineering controls, work practices, personal protective equipment and employee protection program

* Information programs

* Emergency response plan

* Illumination of chemical response site

* Sanitation of chemical response site

* New technology programs 

c. Unable to Remediate Chemical(s) - If Western Oregon University personnel are unable to remediate a chemical spill, Campus Public Safety will request through Polk County Fire District #1, Salem Haz Mat Team or a safety consultation company, a hazardous materials response team to assist in remediation of the hazardous chemical.

d. Decontamination - If a chemical spill can be decontaminated by Western Oregon University certified hazardous waste site operations personnel, the following will occur:

* Proper personal protective equipment must be used;

* Decontamination zones will be established;

* All hazardous chemical waste and cleanup residue will be disposed of properly;

* A written plan of decontamination will be in place prior to executing the cleanup. 

e. Unable to Decontaminate - If Western Oregon University is unable to decontaminate a hazardous chemical spill, assistance will be requested through a safety consultant company or Polk County Fire District #1.

Persons may be allowed to return to a decontaminated area when a certified hazardous waste coordinator declares the site as safe. - At no time is an employee, agent, student or other person to approach a hazardous waste spill or exposure unless they are trained in accordance with CFR 1910.120 and this procedure.

LAST UPDATED: 08/11/2016



SOURCE:    Previously Referred to as: FA-CPS-006
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