Major Spills of Hazardous Materials

Spills defined

Reporting & cleanup

Major Spills

Environmental Release

The variety and quantity of hazardous materials used on campus requires preplanning to safely respond to spills. Only personnel who are familiar with the hazards of the material should attempt to clean up a spill.

A minor spill is defined as an event that can be handled safely without the assistance of the Environmental Health and Safety Office (EHSO) or emergency response personnel.

A major spill is defined as an event that cannot be handled safely without the assistance of the Environmental Health and Safety Office (EHSO) or emergency response personnel, including all events where a person is injured or contaminated.

  • If someone is injured, call 404.727.6111 (or 7.6111 from a campus phone)..
  • Call EHSO Spill Team at 404.727.2888 (24 hour response line)
  • All other times call the Emory Police Department at 404.727.6111 (or 7.6111 from a campus phone).

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When contacting the Emory Police Dispatcher and Environmental Health and Safety Office (EHSO), be prepared to answer the following questions:

  • What was released?
  • How much was released?
  • Time when release occurred and is it continuing?
  • Location of release?
  • Are there injuries?
  • Is there damage to facilities?

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Major Spills

  • Attend to injured or contaminated persons.
  • Alert personnel in the area of the spill to evacuate the immediate area.
  • Call call the Emory Police Department at 404.727.6111 (or 7.6111 from a campus phone).
  • Call EHSO Spill Team at 404.727.2888 - 24 hour response line.
  • Have a person knowledgeable of the incident and the material spilled available to assist emergency personnel.
  • Refer to Safety Data Sheets (SDS) and appropriate cleanup guides for chemical spills.
  • If spilled material is flammable, turn off heat and ignition sources.
  • Close doors to contain vapors and prevent personnel entry.
  • If spill is radioactive, have potentially contaminated persons stay in one area until monitored.

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Environmental Release

If a potentially hazardous material is released or spilled into the environment, confine the release to prevent spread of contamination only if it is safe to do so.

  • Notify persons in the area of the release.
  • Attend to injured or contaminated persons.
  • Move to an area of safety (up wind) of the release.
  • Immediately notify emergency response personnel.
  • Call EHSO Spill Team at 404.727.2888 - 24 hour response line.
  • All other times call the Emory Police Department at 404.727.6111 (or 7.6111 from a campus phone).
  • Have a person knowledgeable of the incident and the material spilled available to assist emergency personnel.

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Download the Major Spills card (PDF 40.1KB)