OSU Hazardous Materials Emergency Response Team

EH&S staff respond to hazardous materials releases/ spills on OSU’s Corvallis campus. Releases of moderate quantity and toxicity are managed on site. Local agencies coordinate with EH&S in the event of a significant release on campus.

Activate the OSU HazMat Team

  • Call OSU Public Safety: (541) 737-7000

Contact the OSU HazMat Team when:

  • There is an unplanned actual or suspected release or disturbance of hazardous materials (asbestos, chemical, biological, radioactive, etc.)
  • There is a spill to the environment (oil spill on the roadway, sewage, etc.)

Note: Laboratory workers if they are comfortable can handle small, incidental spills on their own.

Be Prepared

  • Keep updated emergency response procedures for your area.
  • Post a list of contacts in case of a spill.
  • Make sure everyone knows the primary and secondary evacuation routes.
  • Know where spill response materials are located.
  • Train employees in advance on when and how to properly use spill response materials.
  • Assign a person to periodically inspect spill kits and maintain their inventory.

In the Event of a Spill

If there is a fire or serious injury associated with a spill, call 911 immediately for assistance.

All chemical spills of more than 1 gallon of liquid or 1 pound of solid must be reported to EH&S immediately via Campus Safety  (541-737-7000).


The first steps to addressing any chemical spill: 

  • assess the magnitude;
  • assess the hazards; and
  • assess the risk to responders and other .

Before attempting to clean up a spill, make sure employees have proper and adequate personal protective equipment and spill treatment materials.


SMALL SPILLS (less than 1 gallon of liquid or 1 pound of solid chemical):

1. Assess the magnitude of the spill and the associated hazards (broken glass, toxic fumes, risk of fire, etc.).

2. If the hazards can be safely mitigated with available personal protective equipment (PPE), do so.  This includes informing co-workers of the spill, removing ignition sources, and moving equipment that may be damaged by the spilled chemicals.  (Note: If the spill is more than 1 gallon of liquid or 1 pound of solid, contact Public Safety at 541-737-7000 and ask them to notify EH&S.)

3. Once all hazards have been assessed, put on appropriate PPE (respiratory protection, goggles, body protection, gloves, impervious shoes/boots, etc.).

4. Apply the Pig Pads to the spill and give the pads time to absorb the chemical.

5. Use gloves and cardboard to move the used Pig Pads to a garbage bag.

6. Seal the garbage bag with a zip tie and label the bag with a Hazardous Waste Label.

7. Place the garbage bag in secondary containment (a cardboard box or plastic tote/bin) labeled “Hazardous Waste.”  Place the box in a location in the laboratory where EH&S personnel will easily find it.

8. Request a Hazardous Waste Pickup.

9. Replenish you spill kit’s contents immediately.


LARGE SPILLS (more than 1 gallon of liquid or 1 pound of solid chemical):

1. In general, if a chemical spill is greater than 1 gallon in volume or is a particularly hazardous material (strong acid or base, carcinogen, highly reactive chemical, etc.), call Public Safety (541-737-7000), and tell them to contact the on-call EH&S personnel to respond to the spill.

2. Provide the following information:

  • Your name and contact phone number;
  • Location of the spill (Building and room number);
  • Approximate volume of spilled liquid; and
  • Name of chemical;

3. Do not attempt to clean up large and/or hazardous chemical spills.

4. Notify all other workers who could be affected by the spill and vacate the laboratory/floor/building, particularly if the chemical produces hazardous fumes or poses other potential health hazards.

5. Wait at the building entrance for EH&S personnel.

6. Serve as a point of contact and provide information about the spill, as requested by EH&S personnel.


Notes and Precautions: The range and quantity of hazardous substances used in laboratories require pre- planning to respond safely to chemical spills. The cleanup of a chemical spill should only be done by knowledgeable and experienced personnel who have received appropriate training and feel comfortable cleaning up the spill. Spill kits with instructions, absorbents, reactants and protective equipment should be available to clean up minor spills. A small chemical spill is one that the laboratory staff is comfortable and capable of handling safely without the assistance of safety and emergency personnel. A large chemical spill requires active assistance from OSU hazardous Material Emergency Response Team.

For more information, contact EH&S, (541) 737-2273.