HSW safety share: Chemicals & hazardous substances

In the case of an emergency due to exposure to hazardous substances, please refer to the instructions for initial action.

HSW stop sign: Take time Take charge

In the event of exposure

First aid
First aiders are available during working hours and the University Security Team (who are first aid trained) are available 24 hours a day. Below are general first aid treatments, however for specific treatments consult the appropriate Safety Data Sheet (SDS).

  • Eye contact
    Promptly flush eyes with water for a prolonged period (15 minutes) and seek medical attention (take SDS with you).
  • Ingestion
    The treatment for ingestion of a chemical will depend on what chemical has been ingested. Consult the SDS for the appropriate action, seek medical attention (take SDS with you). Note that it is against University policy to eat and drink in a laboratory or workshop.
  • Skin contact
    Promptly flush the affected area with water and remove any contaminated clothing. If symptoms persist after washing, seek medical attention (take the SDS with you).

Hazardous substances spill

Follow the procedures on the Safety Data Sheet and training.

  1. Cease all work.
  2. Evacuate area.
  3. Secure facility (so no other person enters the building/area or provide a person to stop any person entering area. (if safe to do so) 
  4. Follow all University emergency evacuation requirements. 

Note: for some chemicals (e.g. hydrofluoric acid) medical attention must be sought even if symptoms are not apparent, due to a possible delay in effects.

For further advice speak to your Supervisor or any member of the HSW Support Team.

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