Emergency Procedures

Prior to working in BI laboratories, BI users should become familiar with the location of emergency equipment and emergency procedures. Each laboratory has a spill kit, and most have plumbed eyewash and shower stations. Emergencies should be reported to BI staff and may require the completion of a McMaster Injury/Incident Report.

Review the McMaster Emergency Guidebook

Exit/Evacuation Routes - Know your evacuation route.
>> Routes posted on lab doors.
Fire Procedures - Know the location of fire pull stations.
- Know your evacuation route. Do not use elevators.
- In the case of fire: ensure safety, alert others and pull fire alarm.
>> Only put out the fire if it is safe!
Fire Extinguisher - If you know how to use one, know where they are.
>> Only use a fire extinguisher if it is safe, the fire is small, and you are comfortable doing so. Otherwise evacuate!
First Aid Kits - Know where they are.
- Know how to request assistance.
>> First Aid Responder (Danielle Covelli, ETB 422).
Eyewash/Shower Stations - Know where they are and how to use them.
>> Refer to the BI Emergency Equipment Policy.
Gas Asphyxiation - Be aware of gas cylinders in your laboratory environment.
- If gas leak is suspected, evacuate the area and report anything suspicious to BI staff.
>> Only BI staff are permitted to move and change gas cylinders.
Power Outage or Failure - If safe, secure your experiment, evacuate the affected area and report incident to BI staff.
Hood Failure - If safe, secure your experiment, close sash and report incident to BI staff.
Spill Kits - Know the location of hazardous and/or biohazardous kits.
Spill Procedures - Assess the spill for type, size and associated risks.
- For minor spills: alert people in the area, post signage and inform BI staff. Consult SDS/PSDS for spill procedures and PPE requirements. Don the appropriate PPE and locate spill kit and other cleanup items as necessary. Contain and cleanup spill; double bag any waste. Label waste appropriately. Dispose of waste according to BI waste disposal procedures. Complete an injury/incident report.
- For major spills: seek assistance
- Report incidents to BI staff.
>> Only clean up a spill if you are comfortable to do so and it is safe!
Lock Down - Review campus lockdown procedures.
- If you are directly involved: hide in locked area until emergency responders assist you.
Loss of Containment - For biological related incidents, seek assistance from the BI Biological Technician.

Refer to the

- BI Emergency Procedures Policy
- BI Emergency Procedures Policy – Equipment
- BI Emergency Procedures Policy – Spill, Hazardous.

Also refer to the following as necessary

- BI Emergency Procedures Policy – Biohazardous
- BI Emergency Procedures Policy – Spill, Biohazardous

Following most emergency situations, BI facilities and equipment will be inspected by BI staff to assess if laboratory security was compromised and if facilities or equipment were damaged. Report anything suspicious to BI staff.

Refer to the BI Emergency Policy - Post Emergency Procedures.

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