Washington State University
Environmental Health & Safety Chemical Spill Management

Chemical Spill Management

EH&S provides several services for control and remediation of hazardous materials which have been accidentally spilled or released. These include:

  • Responding to contain/clean-up spills of hazardous chemicals;
  • Providing training to departments with laboratories for cleaning up spills;
  • Consulting with individual labs in the development of spill management programs.

Each WSU laboratory must decide how it will manage hazardous chemical spills. The laboratory (1) may opt to clean up its own spills, (2) may initiate the university’s emergency response system by calling 911 and reporting a chemical spill, or may (3) institute a combination of the two.

If laboratory employees are expected to clean up spills, they must be trained to recognize the hazards associated with the spill and must wear the appropriate protective equipment. The Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) rule applies to spill cleanup procedures. Typically, a laboratory will train its employees to clean up small, relatively non-hazardous spills and will
utilize the WSU emergency response resources for large, toxic spills.

Spill cleanup materials must be managed as dangerous waste.



EH&S provides training for laboratory workers who are assigned spill clean-up duties. Call EH&S at 335-3041 to arrange for training. EH&S prefers to train groups of students, so departments are encouraged to arrange for training of workers from several laboratories simultaneously.