Lab Health and Safety

Preventing Chemical Spills

In 2008, three drops of spilled acid was all it took to send two graduate students to the hospital. Although they went to the hospital as a precaution, the injuries they sustained could have been worse. 

Lab Manager

Most spills are preventable. The following are some tips that could help to prevent or minimize the magnitude of a spill:

  • Place chemical containers being used in a hood or lab bench area that reduces the possibility of accidentally knocking over a container.
     
  • Keep all unused reagents in thier appropriate storage area and keep your work area clean of needles equipment and clutter.
     
  • Plan your movements. Look where you are reaching to ensure you will not cause a spill.
     
  • Avoid transporting chemicals from the stockroom during periods of high traffic in hallways.
     
  • Transport chemical containers in a chemical carrier or cart.
     
  • Place absorbent plastic-backed liners on benchtops or in fume hoods where spills can be anticipated. For volumes of liquid larger than what can be absorbed by liners, use trays.