Eastern Michigan University

Environmental Health & Safety

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  • For assistance call 734.487.0799

Hazardous Materials Incident

The choice of protective actions for a given situation depends on a number of factors. For some cases, evacuation may be the best option; in others, sheltering in-place may be the best course. Sometimes, these two actions may be used in combination. You will be provided continuing information and instructions while being evacuated or sheltered in-place.

Washtenaw County Hazmat Patch

 Only trained and authorized personnel should respond to hazardous materials “hazmat” incidents.


 In Case Of Hazardous Spills Or Leaks

1. Notify others in the area and remove yourself from the area, and keep others away.

2. Close and secure the room or area, if possible.

3. Do not walk into or touch any of the spilled substance.

4. Try not to inhale gases, fumes, and smoke. If possible, cover mouth with a cloth while leaving the area.

5. Assist contaminated persons to a safety shower or eyewash station if located out of the hazardous area.

6. Call EMU Public Safety at 734.487.1222 or 911 to report the incident. Provide the following information:

  • Building name, location, floor, and room number.
  • Any injuries or medical emergencies.
  • Details regarding type of spill.

7. Notify supervisor and Building Administrator.

8. Assist with providing information about the material such as the Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS) if known, to first responders.

9. Do not return to the area of the spill until told it is safe to do so by EMU Public Safety.


Chemical Contamination

1. Remove any contaminated clothing immediately and flush all areas of bodily contact with large amounts of water. This should take place in a safe location while someone else makes the appropriate phone calls.

2. Ensure that assistance is obtained by directing the individual to a safety shower, eye wash station, medical attention, etc.

3. Continue to rinse body contact areas with large amounts of water for at least 15 minutes unless directed otherwise by appropriate emergency medical personnel. (Physician, Nurse, Paramedic or Emergency Medical Technician).

4. Call 911 for medical care and evaluation. If possible, take applicable Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS) with you.


Radioactive Spills

In any radiation emergency, personnel protection comes first, confinement of radioactivity next. Response actions may be performed before any radiation measurements. Some radioactive materials cannot be detected by commonly available instruments.

1. Call EMU Public Safety at 734.487.1222 or 911 to report the incident.Hazmat suits

2. In addition, immediately notify the following:

3. Notify everyone in the area of the release and limit access.

4. The spill area shall be evacuated and marked off with radiation tape.

5. Prevent the spread of contamination (e.g. cover with absorbent pads).

6. All people leaving the area shall be monitored for contamination. If it is not possible to monitor individuals, they should remain in an adjacent area until monitored or given further instructions by the Radiation Safety Officer.

7. Ensure radiation protection and contamination control measures are followed.

  • Restrict entrance to the spill area.
  • Do not allow eating, drinking, smoking, or other activities within contaminated areas that might lead to intake of radioactive material.
  • Avoid direct contact with radioactive materials.
  • Limit time near radioactive materials to the minimum necessary.

8. Remain calm.


REMEMBER: ALARA = As Low As Reasonably Achievable

This is a radiation safety principle for minimizing radiation doses and releases of radioactive materials by employing all reasonable methods. ALARA is not only a sound safety principle, but is a regulatory requirement for all radiation safety programs. Everyone bears a responsibility for their own personal safety including:

1. Awareness of potential radiation hazards, exposure levels and safety controls.

2. Awareness of operating and emergency procedures.

3. Awareness of practices that do not seem to follow the ALARA philosophy.









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