Environmental Health & Safety Custodial Services

Custodial Services

Custodians may perform services in laboratories which include floor sweeping, mopping and waxing. Custodians performing services in laboratories after-hours may encounter spilled or released hazardous chemicals, radioactive materials, or biohazardous materials. Custodial employees are never required to come into contact with such materials.

  1. If a custodian observes what appears to be spilled or released hazardous material, the following should be done:
  2. The custodian should immediately leave the area and contact his/her supervisor. Information about the release is provided to the custodial supervisor.
  3. The custodian’s supervisor investigates the spill/release circumstance, and makes a decision concerning one of three courses of action:
  4. If the spilled /released material appears not to be immediately dangerous or life-threatening, the custodial supervisor should contact the emergency contact (PI or lab supervisor) listed on the laboratory door. From information provided by the emergency contact, the custodial supervisor can make a decision about the continued work activity of the custodial employee in the area.

Custodians may perform services in laboratories which include floor sweeping, mopping and waxing. Custodians performing services in laboratories after-hours may encounter spilled or released hazardous chemicals, radioactive materials, or biohazardous materials. Custodial employees are never required to come into contact with such materials.

  • A. If a custodian observes what appears to be spilled or released hazardous material, the following should be done:

    • The custodian should immediately leave the area and contact his/her supervisor. Information about the release is provided to the custodial supervisor.
    • The custodian’s supervisor investigates the spill/release circumstance, and makes a decision concerning one of three courses of action:

      If the spilled /released material appears not to be immediately dangerous or life-threatening, the custodial supervisor should contact the emergency contact (PI or lab supervisor) listed on the laboratory door. From information provided by the emergency contact, the custodial supervisor can make a decision about the continued work activity of the custodial employee in the area.

      If no emergency laboratory contact can be reached, and if there is any possibility that dangerous exposure to people may be possible or that university property may be damaged the custodial supervisor calls 911 and reports the information to the Fire/Police dispatcher. The custodial supervisor then places the following notice on all laboratory doors leading directly into the laboratory.

     When 911 is called by the custodial supervisor the Fire/Police dispatcher collects as much information as possible. Environmental Health & Safety (EH&S) and/or WSU Fire Services responders are located and sent to the location. Whenever response personnel arrive at the suspected spill/release site, an evaluation is made about any potentially dangerous conditions.

    If EH&S responds to the spill and finds dangerous conditions, the door is posted with the danger notice or barricade-taped, as per SOP. EH&S then arranges for containment and/or cleanup of the spilled/released material. After the spill is properly managed, a notice is placed on the door indicating the room is released for normal work practices. The main office of Facilities Operations custodial services is contacted by telephone and informed of the release of work space.

    If EH&S responds to the spill and finds no dangerous conditions, a notice is placed on the door indicating the room is released for normal work practices (including laboratory, custodial, maintenance, etc.). The main office Facilities Operations custodial services is contacted by telephone and informed of the release of work space.

    If WSU Fire Services responds to the spill, the area is secured by Fire Services personnel until the arrival of EH&S spill/release evaluators.

    If satisfactory information provided by the laboratory emergency contact is received by the custodial supervisor, demonstrating that the spilled/released material is not dangerous or damaging, the custodial supervisor locks the laboratory door and leaves a message concerning the released material. Laboratory employees can manage the non-dangerous spilled material the following work day. Custodial employees are never required to clean up any spilled or released laboratory hazardous chemical material.

  • B. Custodians may perform the removal of trash from the laboratory trash receptacles. If a custodian suspects the presence of improperly disposed waste material in the trash, he/she immediately informs the custodial supervisor. The custodial supervisor determines whether the trash may be safely removed. If the custodial supervisor suspects improper disposal practices, the trash is left in place, and the following notice is placed on the laboratory door. A copy of the notice is sent to Environmental Health & Safety the following work day. Laboratory personnel must properly dispose of the material the following work day.

    Notice of Improper Disposal Practices
    Washington State University
    Facilities Operations
    Custodial Services Division
    ATTENTION: LABORATORY PERSONNEL
    YOUR WASTE WAS NOT COLLECTED BY THE CUSTODIAN ON THIS ROUTE FOR THE FOLLOWING REASON(S):
    ____ Radiation sign appears on or in waste container.
    ____ “Sharps” present in regular waste container (e.g., needles), not in a Horizontal Entry Sharps Container.
    ____ Trash contains glass which is not double-boxed in cardboard boxes.
    ____ Biohazard symbol appears in or on container.
    ____ Blood or blood soaked items in regular waste, not in biohazard box.
    ____ Dead animals or animal parts in waste.
    ____ Unapproved animal bedding and waste in regular waste, not in biohazard box.
    ____ Unknown powder or loose liquid in waste container.
    ____ Empty chemical bottles not rinsed clean and uncapped for collection.
    Note: Triple rinse is only required on Environmental Hazardous Waste.
    Other: _____________________________________________________
    Building and Room No. of Problem:___________________________________

    Custodial Supervisor:____________________________________________
    FOR PROPER WASTE DISPOSAL INSTRUCTIONS REFER TO THE WSU SAFETY POLICIES AND PROCEDURES MANUAL, REFER TO ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH AND SAFETY (EH&S) WEBSITE AT www.ehs.wsu.edu, OR CONTACT EH&S AT 335-3041.
    Forward copy to Environmental Health and Safety, Zip 1172.
Washington State University