Police Department Manual (PDP)

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Effective: 8/6/1976

Revised: 3/1/2010

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PDP 104–01: Laboratory Emergencies

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To provide general guidelines for laboratory emergencies including, but not limited to, fires, chemical burns, chemical or smoke inhalation, explosions, and hazardous materials releases

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29 Code of Federal Regulations § 1910.151
Arizona Revised Statutes § 23–4114
Arizona State University Chemical Hygiene Plan

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All laboratory incidents must be reported regardless of the size or severity. Failure to report an incident could seriously endanger the lives of everyone in the laboratory.

For large events that may take time to mitigate or have severe impact on the university, it is an option to activate the emergency operation center and begin using the emergency operation plan. Information about the event will be shared using the university notification plan.

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In the event that one of these incidents is life-threatening, immediately dial 911. Instruct the call taker about your location and the nature of the incident. If the incident is not life-threatening, the laboratory supervisor must be notified as soon as possible, and ASU Environmental Health & Safety (EH&S) should be contacted at 480/965–1823.

The most common types of laboratory emergencies include small fires and explosions, spills, leaks, and chemical burns.

Chemical Emergencies

For chemical splashes:

  1. Remove affected clothing immediately.
  2. Rinse affected area with copious amounts of clean water for at least 15 minutes.

If the chemical has burned the skin:

  1. Dial 911 immediately.
  2. Cover burn with a clean, dry cloth.
  3. Do not put any salve or ointment on the burn.
  4. Do not leave victim unattended.
  5. Do not break blisters.
  6. Have the chemical Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS) available for responding medical personnel.

For ingestion or inhalation of chemicals:

  1. Call 911 immediately.
  2. Do not move victim if unconscious.
  3. Do not induce vomiting unless instructed to do so by a medical professional.
  4. Have the chemical MSDS available for responding medical personnel.


If fire can be easily extinguished:

  1. Pull the nearest fire alarm.
  2. Attempt to extinguish the fire using an authorized extinguisher. Contact Environmental Health & Safety for information if needed. Do not use water as it may spread the fire.

If the fire cannot be easily extinguished:

  1. Pull the nearest fire alarm.
  2. Evacuate the area, closing all doors.
  3. Dial 911.
  4. Remain out of the building at a safe distance until told by someone in charge that it is safe to re-enter.


Small or nonhazardous spills or leaks:

  1. Contain the spill and ensure it doesn’t spread into the sink or drain.
  2. Clean up the spill completely using approved absorbent and cleaning materials.
  3. Notify supervisor.
  4. Notify Environmental Health & Safety.

Large or hazardous spills or leaks:

  1. Evacuate the area immediately.
  2. Pull the nearest fire alarm or dial 911.
  3. Notify supervisor.
  4. Notify Environmental Health & Safety.

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For more information, see:

  1. PDP 101–01, “Reporting an Emergency”
  2. PDP 101–03, “Emergency Notification”


  3. PDP 101–04, “Emergency Evacuation.”

See also the Environmental Health & Safety Policies and Procedures Manual:

  1. EHS 104, “Laboratory Use of Hazardous Chemicals”
  2. EHS 108, “Environmental Health and Safety Training”
  3. EHS 205, “Storage of Hazardous Chemicals”
  4. EHS 401, “Hazardous Waste Management”


  5. EHS 403, “Chemical Release Emergency Response.”

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