Emergencies and Chemical Spills

Emergency Procedures

Immediately evacuate the area and call 911 for all campus emergencies. If building evacuation is required (i.e., incident could potentially affect building occupants that are not directly involved with the incident), pull the fire alarm on your way out. Follow the evacuation procedures detailed in your Building Emergency Plan (BEP) and Lab Emergency Procedures document. Contact your building manager with questions regarding your BEP.

Examples of emergencies include:

  • Medical emergencies
  • Fires/explosions/smoke
  • Violence, or threat of
  • Chemical Spills that present an immediate hazard to human health and/or the environment; for example:
    • Spill that involves a high hazard chemical such as pyrophoric, dangerous when wet, acutely toxic, or an unknown chemical (always consult chemical Safety Data Sheet prior to starting work)
    • Spill is large (generally > 1L) 
    • Spill involving a hazardous material in a public space such as a hallway or classroom
  • Large water events
  • Natural gas odors

Non-Emergency Assistance from UHS

For incidents that do not pose an emergency situation but assistance from UHS is needed, dial (612) 626-6002. If calling after hours, the phone auto-attendant will provide instructions on how to contact UHS on-call personnel. If you are unable to contact UHS, dial 911 and report to the dispatcher that you have a non-emergency situation and would like to consult with UHS.

Examples of non-emergency incidents requiring assistance from UHS include:

  • Non-emergency chemical spills that cannot be safely cleaned up by lab personnel because of its chemical properties and/or volume of material spilled, but does not threaten human health and/or the environment and does not involve a serious injury
  • Mercury spills
  • Biological spills 
  • Radioactive material spills
  • Odor complaints (other than strong natural gas odors)
  • General consultation and guidance

Note: If you are unsure of whether the incident is an emergency situation or not, always err on the side of caution and dial 911.