Chemical Safety

The University of South Alabama is committed to providing a safe working environment and believes employees have a right to know about health hazards associated with their work. A Chemical Hygiene Plan has been developed which includes policies, procedures and responsibilities designed to create an awareness of potentially hazardous chemicals in the workplace and to train employees, students and contractors in appropriate, safe working conditions.

It is important that everyone assume equal responsibility for chemical safety. Employees and students wishing to gain access to pertinent safety information should initially contact their supervisor or instructor. In the event information is unavailable they can contact the Office of Safety and Environmental Compliance for assistance. The University's Safety and Environmental Compliance department maintains department inventories and manages related permits. Currently the Safety and Environmental Compliance department maintains a permit for the treatment, storage and disposal of hazardous chemicals.


General Emergency Spill Procedures

Before starting any new work, personnel should be aware of possible hazards that could occur in his/her specific work place. They should be familiar with any emergency procedures and the location of all emergency equipment available in case of trouble.

The following emergency procedures are recommended in the event of fire, spills, explosions or other emergencies:


Alert others in the area of the problem. Evacuate and secure the area. Post a clear warning sign near the area. Contact emergency personnel (fire, medical, etc.)


Assist the injured. Remove the injured from the area only if they are in danger of further harm. If they are not in danger, leave them until trained personnel arrive. If you call 911, contact the University Police so they will be aware of the problem.


Start emergency first aid of the injured (CPR, decontamination of victims, etc.)


If available, use outside vented chemical fume hood to help remove fumes from the area. You may need to contact the Central Utilities Department (6-7047) on main campus or your facilities maintenance department, as they may need to shut off the air handlers to prevent the spread of fumes throughout the building. For large spills/emergencies, pull the fire alarm to notify authorities and this will automatically shut off the air handlers.


Begin decontamination only after the area has been secured and any victims have been removed. Trained personnel should conduct decontamination and clean up only.


Above all, DO NOT BECOME A VICTIM YOURSELF. If you are not equipped or trained to respond to an incident, go find someone who is. You must protect yourself.

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Last date changed: January 26, 2009