Bodily Fluids or Chemical Spill Procedure

There are specific emergency procedures for dealing with bodily fluids and chemical spills that may supersede the general procedures below.

Do not attempt to clean up the suspect material yourself unless all the following are true:

  • You have personal knowledge of the material and its hazards.
  • The spill is within a contained area that protects everyone else from possible exposure (e.g., custodial closet, machine room, restroom).
  • You have the training and resources to clean the spill with no risk to yourself or others.
  1. If the material contacts your eyes or face, immediately flush your eyes and face, obtain medical help, and remove affected clothing.
  2. Call 911 from any office phone or cell phone (or ask a co-worker to call for you if you are decontaminating).
  3. If time allows, call building security (if off-campus)
  4. Notify your Occupant Emergency Coordinator.
  5. If safe and applicable, surround the spill with absorbent material to minimize spreading.
  6. Remove any contaminated shoes and clothing and leave them in the contaminated area.
  7. Leave the room and close the doors.
    • If you think you may have been contaminated, leave the affected area but remain nearby for assessment and decontamination by emergency personnel.
    • If you do not believe you have been exposed, report to the designated assembly area for further communication.
  8. Remain in a safe area until directed by emergency personnel.
  9. Notify your supervisor immediately.
    • Supervisor should notify the NIH Division of Occupational Health and Safety: 301-496-2960.
  10. Report any potential exposure or symptoms of illness to the NIH Occupational Medical Service: 301-496-4411.
Content last reviewed on April 19, 2016