Emergency Procedures 2018-07-06T10:45:10+00:00
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Emergency Procedures

Adhere to the following priorities when encountering an emergency:

  • Personal Safety – Yours and Others
  • Protect University Property
  • Preserve Academic Programs

Important Phone Numbers

Reporting ALL Campus Emergency, Security Center 4000 or 4126
Enquiry of security matters 4000 or 4126
Enquiry of general safety matters 4445


When calling for help, always give:

  • Location of the accident/incident
  • The nature and severity of the accident/incident, e.g. how many persons are injured, how serious is the injury, emergency situations such as gas leakage, extent of property damage, etc.
  • Your name and location

PREVENTION is the key to avoiding accidents. Prevention is also the essence of safety training. However, accidents can still happen. Major accidents may lead to emergencies which threaten human lives and university property. The idea of EMERGENCY PREPAREDNESSis to help everyone to prepare for such situations so as to minimize personal injury and property damage.


It is Everyone’s Responsibility

Supervisors are responsible for establishing safe procedures and providing protective equipment, on-the-job safety training and information needed in hazardous works. They must instruct their staff and students about the hazards, the safety precautions, and the actions to take in case of an accident, which may include general procedures as published below and specific ones tailored for special work places or operations. Drills should also be organized by supervisors to familiarize concerned students and employees with execution of such emergency procedures.

Employees and students are required to learn and understand the hazards they work with and to follow all necessary precautions. In case of unexpected malfunctioning, damage, or injury, the employee or student should act to protect him- or herself and others in the area. He/she should also report any unsafe or hazardous condition in the area to the supervisor and/or CMDO.


Be Prepared for Injury

  • Learn first aid.
  • Make sure first aid kits, including specific antidotes if applicable, are well stocked at all time.
  • Learn how to use the antidotes if hydrofluoric acid or cyanide is used.
  • Laboratory users should know the location of emergency shower and eyewash, and make sure they are easily accessible.


Be Prepared for Laboratory Emergency

  • Know the chemicals you use by referring to Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDSs) which provide information on the physical, chemical, and toxicological properties of a chemical and procedures for handling spill, fire, and disposal.
  • Plan your operation or experiment carefully, taking into consideration the hazardous properties of materials involved. Also think about what to do if something goes wrong in the process. Stock appropriate spill control materials, personal protection equipment, first aid materials, and antidotes.
  • Get proper training. The procedures below make reference to “significant amounts of hazardous materials”, and performing certain actions “if it is safe to do so” or not doing something “if it is unsafe to do so.” These are judgment calls. A large quantity of low toxicity material may be safe to handle, while a small amount of highly toxic substance may be significantly hazardous. In order to make the correct “call”, you must have prior knowledge concerning the potential hazards of the materials, operations and proper control measures; have participated in hands-on safety training and emergency drills; and be confident enough in that knowledge and training to make the judgment call.
  • Know the locations of fire alarm button, fire fighting equipment, spill control materials, personal protective equipment, and first aid kit.
  • Be conservative if you have doubts or reservations about whether or not “it is safe/unsafe to do so”. Always take the conservative approach (e.g. sound the alarm, exit the lab and leave clean-up or other response action to the emergency response personnel).

Hazardous Material Spills

The following emergency procedures are intended to provide general guidelines for spills which involve significant amounts of hazardous materials. These are general procedures. Supervisors should provide employees and students with further lab-specific instructions.

Hazardous Material Spill Response Principles

  • GET AWAY
  • ALERT OTHERS
  • GET HELP
  • SEAL OFF THE AREA


Hazardous Chemical Spill in a Research Laboratory

  • Alert co-workers.
  • If safe to do so, perform the following. Ask for assistance if necessary.
    1. Confine the spill with appropriate materials.
    2. Turn off remotely all heat/ignition sources if flammable vapour is involved.
  • Inform Security Centre by dialing 4000 or 4126 from a safe location.
  • Evacuate everyone in the affected area. Leave contaminated clothing and close the door.
  • If possible, maintain a safe distance from the scene, keep the entrance or access routes in sight and help to prevent entry to the affected room.
  • If conditions allow, remain to assist the emergency response personnel.


Hazardous Chemical Spill in a Teaching Laboratory

Students or technicians upon discovering a chemical spill should:

  • Alert all persons in the vicinity.
  • Inform the person-in-charge of the laboratory.

Person-in-charge upon notification of a chemical spill should:

  • If safe to do so, perform the following actions. 
    1. Confine the spill with appropriate materials.
    2. Instruct the students to turn off remotely all heat/ignition sources if flammable vapour is involved.
  • Evacuate everyone in the laboratory, leave contaminated clothing and close the door(s).
  • Inform Security Centre by dialing 4000 or 4126 from a safe location.
  • If possible, maintain a safe distance from the scene, keep the entrance or access routes in sight and help to prevent entry to the affected laboratory.
  • If conditions allow, remain to assist the emergency response personnel.


Hazardous Chemical Spill in Dangerous Goods Stores

  • Alert co-workers.
  • If safe to do so, perform the following. Ask for assistance if necessary.
    1. Confine the spill with appropriate materials.
    2. Contain the spill inside the DG store.
  • Evacuate everyone in the affected area. Leave contaminated clothing or articles and close the door.
  • Inform Security Centre by dialing 4000 or 4126 or other means. At least one staff should remain at the scene at a safe distance.
  • Staff at the scene should keep a safe distance from the store, try to keep the entrance or access route in sight and help to prevent entry to the store.
  • Assist the emergency response personnel upon its arrival.


Hazardous Chemical Spill during Delivery within Campus

  • Alert people in the vicinity.
  • Confine the spill if safe to do so.
  • Inform Security Centre by dialing 4000 or 4126 or by other means. At least one staff should remain at the scene.
  • Erect chemical spill warning sign on access route.
  • Staff at the scene should keep a safe distance from the spill, keep the area in sight, and help to prevent entry to the area.
  • Assist the emergency response personnel upon its arrival.

Decontamination Procedures for Chemical Spills

Persons contaminated by hazardous chemicals should go through decontamination as soon as they arrive at a safe location.

  • Treat any injury first. First-aid responders should protect themselves against contamination with hazardous chemicals and blood or bodily fluids from injured person.
  • Remove any other suspected contaminated clothing or articles, seal in a plastic bag and label if possible.
  • Wash contaminated skin area with water and detergent. Avoid aerosol generation (e.g. scrubbing with brush).
  • Immediately seek medical attention.


Radioactive Material Spills

  • Alert co-workers.
  • If safe to do so, confine the spill with appropriate materials.
  • Inform Security Centre by dialing 4000 or 4126.
  • Evacuate everyone in the room. Leave contaminated clothing or articles and close the door.
  • If possible, maintain at a safe distance from the laboratory, keep the entrance or access routes in sight and help to prevent entry to the laboratory.
  • If conditions allow, remain to assist the emergency response personnel.

Decontamination Procedures for Radioactive Material Spills

Persons contaminated by radioactive material should go through decontamination as soon as they arrive at a safe location.

  • Treat any injury first. First-aid responders should protect themselves against contamination by using protective equipment and avoiding splashing/spreading of contaminant.
  • Remove any other suspected contaminated clothing or articles, seal in a plastic bag.
  • Wash contaminated skin area with water and detergent. Avoid aerosol generation (e.g. scrubbing with brush).
  • Immediately seek medical attention for any internal contamination.


Biohazardous Material Spills

  • Alert co-workers.
  • If safe to do so, contain the spill with appropriate material.
  • If the spill occurred in a biosafety cabinet, leave the unit on.
  • Evacuate everyone in the affected area. Leave contaminated clothing or articles and close the door.
  • Inform Security Centre by dialing 4000 or 4126 from a safe location.
  • If possible, maintain a safe distance from the laboratory, keep the entrance or access routes in sight and help to prevent entry to the laboratory.
  • If conditions allow, remain to assist the emergency response personnel.

Decontamination Procedures for Biohazardous Material Spills

Any person contaminated by the biohazardous material spill should go through decontamination as soon as they arrive at a safe location.

  • Treat any injury first. First-aid responders should protect themselves against contamination by using appropriate protective equipment and avoiding splashing/spreading of contaminant.
  • Remove any other suspected contaminated clothing or articles, seal in a plastic bag.
  • Wash contaminated skin area with water, appropriate disinfectant and soap.
  • If eyes have been contaminated, flush with water.
  • Immediately seek medical attention for any internal contamination.