Spill Kit Essentials and Basic Clean Up Steps

All personnel working in research laboratories should know the location of the biological spill clean up kit, the basic steps to clean up small spills, who to call in case of an emergency and the reporting procedures.

Before you start your work with biological agents:

  • Identify the location of the nearest spill kit
  • Check the contents of the Biological Spill Kit
    • Written spill procedure including emergency phone numbers
    • Bottle with nozzle to prepare the decontamination solution, for example 10% Bleach
    • Paper towels and other absorbent materials such as kitty litter or sand
    • Multiple pairs of nitrile gloves
    • Gown/lab coat
    • Shoe covers
    • Eye protection
    • Forceps to pick up sharps, including broken glass
    • Brush and Dustpan to clean up broken glass in contaminated liquid, should be resistant to decontaminant solution after use
    • Biohazard bags

If a spill occurs outside the biosafety cabinet:

  • Notify others that a spill has occurred, control traffic to the area.
  • Remove any contaminated clothing or PPE by folding the contamination inward and dispose of as biohazard waste.
  • Wash potentially contaminated body parts with germicidal soap. Shower if necessary.
  • Allow aerosols to settle before returning to the spill area.
  • Don PPE (gown/lab coat, two pairs of nitrile gloves, eye protection, shoe covers).
  • Prepare disinfectant, i.e. 10% bleach.
  • Cover spill area with paper towels.
  • Pour disinfectant over towels from edges of spill to center, be careful not to splash or create aerosols.
  • Allow 30 minutes of contact time.
  • Collect contaminated paper towels using the brush and dustpan. Discard in biohazard bag.
  • Pick up any sharps, including broken glass, with forceps and place in sharps container.
  • Use brush and dustpan to recover any leftover broken glass in contaminated liquid.
  • Decontaminate dust pan.
  • Exchange outside pair of nitrile gloves as often as needed while cleaning the spill.
  • Wipe area with disinfectant, wipe down outside of bags, containers, and equipment involved in the spill with disinfectant and dispose of wipes as biohazard waste.
  • Close biohazard bags by turning as a loose goose neck.
  • Doff PPE and dispose of as biohazard waste in a separate container.
  • Wash hands with sufficient soap and water.
  • Complete incident report in PeopleSoft: https://hrprod.emory.edu; Self Service; Workplace Health; report Accident/Injury.

Emergency Numbers:

EHSO Spill Response Team: 7-2888
Emory Police: 404-727-6111

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