The release or spill of biohazardous material will require a different response based on several factors including the actual agent and the associated risks, the amount of material spilled, type of spill and location of the spill.
Personal Exposure to Infectious material
In the event that a substance enters the mouth, eyes, lungs or penetrates/comes in contact with skin, follow the instructions below and see immediate medical attention.
- Remove all contaminated clothing and place it in a biohazard bag, the biological safety cabinet or a biohazard waste container.
- Vigorously wash exposed area (if possible) with soap and water or disinfectant for one minute. If mouth or eyes are exposed, flush with water for one minute.
- If others are present in the laboratory, warn them of the biohazard.
- Report the spill to the principal investigator or lab manager.
- If an individual is injured during work: Go to University Health Services or Stillwater Medical Center for emergency care. (See section on Injury Reporting).
- On-site emergency assistance can be obtained by dialing 911.
Personnel working in a Biosafety Level 2 or 3 laboratory, or who have performed duties in the past six months in an area containing infectious materials, must notify their supervisors and seek medication attention if they:
- Develop a fever greater than 100.4 degree Fahrenheit.
- Display initial onset symptoms consistent with contraction of the infectious agents used in the laboratory.
All Other Biohazardous Material
If the agent involved in the spill is infectious via mucous membrane exposure or inhalation, and the spill has resulted in the creation of aerosols, the lab should be evacuated for 30 minutes to allow the aerosols to settle.
- Evacuate everyone, leave the biological safety cabinet operating and, if possible, place cultures inside cabinets.
- If personal clothing is contaminated, remove all outer clothing and place it into a biohazard waste container. Thoroughly wash hands and other apparently contaminated areas with soap and water.
- Leave the laboratory for 30 minutes to allow for dissipation of aerosols created by the spill, close laboratory doors and post warning signs to prevent others from entering the laboratory.
- Report the accident to the principal investigator (PI) and to the biological safety officer (BSO) (74403203 or 880-4407). Re-entry and appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE) will be jointly decided on by the PI and the BSO.
- Cover the spill area with paper towels or other absorbent material.
- Carefully pour disinfectant onto the spilled material and do not create any splashes.
- Allow 20-30 minutes of contact time between disinfectant and spilled material.
- Pick up broken glass using forceps or other mechanical means (autoclave broom and dust pan). Discard in a sharps container and autoclave.
- Use paper towels to wipe up the spill, working from the edges into the center.
- Clean the spill area with fresh towels soaked in disinfectant.
- Transfer all contaminated materials, including PPE, to a biohazard waste container, cover with a suitable lid, and autoclave according to directions.
- Wash hands with soap and water.
In the event of a major release of a biological agent that is infectious via mucous membrane exposure or inhalation, evacuate the area immediately. Everyone should gather at a designated sight in the cold zone - at least 100 feet away from the building and UPWIND. Once there, wait for assistance and instruction.