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Curtin University
Health, Safety and Emergency Management

Spills

Safe work practices must be followed at all times to prevent leaks and spills. This includes:

  1. Good housekeeping;
  2. Using appropriate storage facilities, including bunding or other secondary containment systems;
  3. Carrying out regular inspection of packages and containers;
  4. Using appropriate equipment and methods for the transport of chemicals.

Spills should be dealt with as soon as they occur.

Major Spills

  1. Alert those in the area and evacuate;
  2. Dial 4444;
  3. Inform the warden and follow the areas emergency procedure;
  4. Keep personnel away from the area;
  5. Report the incident on the on-line reporting system.

Minor Spills of Acids

  1. Do not take unnecessary risks;
  2. Alert those in the area;
  3. Wear the appropriate personal protective equipment;
  4. Contain the spill by covering drains and/ or surrounding the spill with earth or sand;
  5. Carefully neutralize the acid with soda ash or sodium bicarbonate;
  6. Scoop the material into a sealable plastic container;
  7. Repeat steps 5 & 6;
  8. Wash the area with excess water;
  9. Clean up and leave area dry;
  10. Report the incident on the on-line reporting system.

Minor Spills of Alkalis

  1. Do not take unnecessary risks;
  2. Alert those in the area;
  3. Wear the appropriate personal protective equipment;
  4. Contain the spill by covering drains and/ or surrounding the spill with earth or sand;
  5. The alkali may be carefully neutralized with citric acid;
  6. Scoop the material into a sealable container;
  7. Repeat steps 5 & 6;
  8. Wash the area with excess water;
  9. Clean up and leave area dry;
  10. Report the incident on the on-line reporting system.

Minor Spills of Organic Solvents

  1. Do not attempt to clean up if there is an ignition source present;
  2. Do not take unnecessary risks;
  3. Alert those in the area;
  4. Wear the appropriate personal protective equipment;
  5. Absorb the spill using a solvent absorbent moving from the perimiter inward;
  6. Mix thoroughly with plastic scoops and transfer to an appropriate disposal container (check with the Safety Data Sheet(SDS));
  7. Repeat steps 5 & 6;
  8. Clean up and leave area dry;
  9. Report the incident on the on-line reporting system.