8.1 General Emergency Procedures
The standard response to all emergencies on campus is to notify the emergency responder, and then attend to the situation to the best of your ability without placing yourself at risk of injury.
Dial "911" for all campus emergencies
- Medical emergencies
- Spills that are beyond your ability to clean-up safely
- Bomb threats
- Workplace violence
- Dial 911, provide information regarding the injury and incident
- Move victim away from additional hazards if safe to do so.
- Assist the victim as best you can.
- Send someone to meet and guide the emergency responders to the patient.
All staff must participate in fire response preparation and fire prevention activities. If a fire emergency occurs, a prompt and orderly response is essential.
In the event of a known or suspected fire, staff initiate emergency fire response procedures:
1. Relocate persons away from danger:
- Remain calm and reassure students and visitors.
- Relocate yourself and others away from the fire through the first set of fire doors.
- Notify special needs staff about the situation and assist them to the nearest appropriate safe room.
2. Activate alarm:
- Activate the closest fire pull station, if present
- Call 911 and provide the operator:
○ Your name
○ Location or room # closest to fire
○ Number of injuries
○ Telephone number
3. Contain the fire and smoke:
- Close all manual doors and windows.
- Shut down critical equipment or potentially hazardous experiments.
4. Extinguish, if safe to do so:
- If the fire is small, you may try to extinguish the fire, if safe to do so. Always make sure that there is a clear path to the exit.
To use the extinguisher:
PULL the pin
AIM the nozzle at the base of the flames
SQUEEZE the handles together
SWEEP from side to side
Depending on which building you are in, severe weather warnings will be announced over the internal overhead paging system, all hazard weather radio, TXT-U emergency phone texting system, or emergency sirens. Note: For buildings that are not connected to the internal paging system, All Hazard Weather Radios can be purchased by individual department, SAFE-U ( https://safe-u.umn.edu/safe-u-text-notifications) is available to all university staff and students.
Severe Weather/Tornado Watch (Watch means severe weather is likely):
- Remain calm and reassure students/visitors.
- Inform others in the work area of the notification.
- Close all windows, drapes, and blinds.
- Prepare for possible power outage (check flashlights and change batteries if necessary).
- Stay alert for additional information and changing weather conditions.
Severe Weather/Tornado Warning (Warning means severe weather is happening):
- Remain calm and reassure students/visitors.
- Move all students, visitors, and staff away from windows and glass enclosures into protected inner corridors of the building.
- Close all doors to rooms with outside windows.
- Listen to all emergency paging and SAFE-U, which will be used to update staff.
Emergency Procedures for Chemical Spills
Complete spill response procedures are described in the Chemical Waste Guidebook. However, the quick reference guide is included for convenience in this Chemical Hygiene Plan.
Chemical Spill Quick Reference Guide
- Leave the spill area; alert others in the area and direct/assist them in leaving.
- Without endangering yourself: remove any victims to fresh air, remove contaminated clothing and flush contaminated skin and eyes with water for 15 minutes. If anyone has been injured or exposed to toxic chemicals or chemical vapors, call 911 and seek medical attention immediately.
- Close doors and isolate the area. Prevent people from entering spill area.
Determine if the spill is within your capability to clean up safely
- If yes, follow your lab’s procedures for spill clean-up and notify your lab safety officer about the spill.
- If not, continue on with the remainder of this guide.
- From a safe place, call 911 and report the spill (Twin Cities Campus 911 operators will contact on-call UHS personnel).
- Be prepared to give your name, phone and location; location of the spill; the name and amount of material spilled; extent of injuries; safest route to the spill.
- Stay by that phone, UHS will advise you as soon as possible.
- UHS or the Fire Department will clean up or stabilize spills, which are considered high hazard (fire, health or reactivity hazard). In the case of a small spill and low hazard situation, UHS will advise you on what precautions and protective equipment to use for clean-up.
- Until emergency response personnel arrive: block off the areas leading to the spill, lock doors, post signs and warning tape, and alert others of the spill.
- Post staff by commonly used entrances to the area to direct people to use other routes.
Laboratory Emergency Plans
Emergency planning is critical to protecting the research community and our assets. Each research laboratory must develop a laboratory-specific plan for:
- Severe weather
- Spill response
The plan must be updated at least every two years and reviewed with all unit staff upon hire and at least annually thereafter.
The Lab Emergency Plan template is available to use as a simple one-page plan covering fire/evacuation, severe weather, and basic spill response. Each research laboratory is encouraged to customize and required to post the plan in the laboratory.