Chemicals are used in many areas of the Museum, and some of them are dangerous. Knocking over a quart container of a solvent is enough to justify the evacuation of that area of the building. Many solvent vapors are heavier than air and will accumulate around the floor. Some solvents are flammable and a spark can cause a fire. Some solvents displace the oxygen in the air causing a suffocation hazard even if you are wearing a gas mask.
DO NOT TURN ON OR TURN OFF ANY LIGHTS OR ELECTRICAL EQUIPMENT.
If a chemical spill occurs:
1. Notify Security via the two-way radio.
2. Notify your supervisor of the location and extent of the spill, and if possible, what type of chemical was spilled.
3. If there is any possible danger, evacuate the area.
4. Remember, many chemicals are flammable, explosive and/or poisonous.
5. Joe (Operations Assistant) or Gregory (Director of Operations & Security) will be responsible for cleanup of spills. Consult with the MSDS sheet about how to properly clean up the spill.
1. Move the victim away from contaminated area and into fresh air. If skin was exposed, seek medical help immediately. Try to find out what type of chemical was spilled before trying to clean it off. Some chemicals react when they are mixed with water. There are MSDS (Material Safety Data Sheets) folders located in the downstairs Custodial closet.
2. If eyes were exposed, flush with water for 15 minutes and seek professional medical help immediately. The Northern Safety & Industrial first aid kits (small white kits in each department) contain emergency eyewash solution.
3. Notify Security via the two-way radio.
4. Contact the Poison Control Center at 1-800-222-1222 if the exposure effects do not disappear soon (They will want to know what chemical the person was exposed to.)
All chemical spills, no matter how small, must be reported to Gregory.