Hazardous Materials Release​

Hazardous materials releases may occur on campus from maintenance, laboratory, vehicle, and facility activities involving the use of hazardous substances.

Response and Prevention

 General Response Guidelines

Image of a Hazardous Materials warning sign
  1. Stand clear and warn others to remain clear of the hazard.

  2. Isolate the release area, evacuating the immediate location.

  3. Consult Determining Appropriate Hazardous Material Response for response guidance.

  4. Assess the seriousness of the release and if necessary, contact University Police 715-346-3456 or dial 9-1-1 from a safe location. Provide the following information:

    • Name and telephone number of the reporter. Location of the spill including name and address of facility or grounds location (e.g., Lot D, TNR Building, UWSP Campus).

    • Time and type of incident (e.g., spill occurred at exact time).

    • Identification and quantity of materials involved (e.g., 50 gallons isopropyl alcohol waste at TNR parking lot D).

    • Extent of injuries (e.g., no injuries).

    • The possible hazards to the environment and human health outside the facility (e.g., possible contamination of ground water).

  5. University Police will contact Environmental Health and Safety to assess situation and activate appropriate response as describe in this section.

 Response to Low Hazard Incidental Releases

If the release does not represent a hazard beyond its immediate location:

  • Instruct the occupants to leave and secure the immediate area.

  • Have staff member post signs outside area stating “Danger – Hazardous Material Keep Away

  • Arrange for clean up. If trained and properly equipped, departmental personnel may clean up small incidental hazardous material releases. Waste materials are to be sent to EHS. Contact EHS for guidance and training resources.

 Resoponse to High Hazard/Major Releases

If the material is unknown or if it poses a hazard beyond its immediate location because of fire, toxicity, or explosion (e.g., very large quantity, highly volatile or toxic compound), follow Evacuation Procedures. If possible to do so safely, post signs or other warning outside the immediate spill area to direct traffic away from the spill so those exiting the building do not go through affected area.

If deemed necessary, facility personnel may also be evacuated by the responding university emergency personnel, the Stevens Point Fire Department, WRR Spill Response, Building/Department management, or other authority. If evacuation is necessary, the facility fire alarm system will be activated and Evacuation Procedures followed. Personnel will be expected to exit the building using the nearest safe exits. Personnel will not be re-admitted until an authorized by the fire department.

The EHS Office member will assess the situation. If necessary resources are available (equipment and trained staff) clean-up procedures will be initiated. This may include use of Portage County Hazardous Material Response team or State contracted Veolia ES 1-800-688-4005 or WRR Environmental Services Co., Inc., 1-800-669-4162. Do not clean up unless trained and authorized.

If a hazardous material/waste spill results in a release to the environment, the EHS Office will call

  • Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, 1-800-943-0003
  • the National Response Center, 1-800-424-8802 (for a major release)
  • and UWSA Office of Risk Management at 608-263-7330 to report the incident and provide pertinent information.

If the spill may represent a hazard to building occupants, Facility Services should be contacted to control ventilation in a manner that will minimize contaminant migration within the building. This may include controlling the supply and/or exhaust ventilation sources depending on the type of release. Facility Services can be reached at 715-346-4219.

If exposed to chemicals, individuals must remove any contaminated clothing and flush all areas of the bodily contact with copious amounts of water (with the exception of chemicals that react with water) and seek medical attention immediately (see Medical Emergencies).

 Prevention of Hazardous Materials Release

  1. Identify hazardous materials in the work environment.

  2. Ensure containers are properly labeled, have adequate headspace, secure storage, properly capped and are in good condition.

  3. Ensure incompatible materials are not stored next to each other.

  4. Inspect hazardous material storage locations weekly.

  5. Ensure employees receive hazard communication, chemical hygiene, hazardous waste, and other applicable safety training as appropriate.

  6. UW-Stevens Point Hazardous Materials Contingency Plan.
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Page Last Reviewed: February 15, 2021
Page Last Updated: November 30, 2021