The purpose of this Oil and Chemical Spill Response Guide is to explain the stepwise procedures in the event of an oil or chemical spill. See also the college's Hazardous Material policy.


This guide applies to all Reynolds employees and contractors who use and store oil and chemicals on Reynolds property. This guide also applies to Reynolds employees and contractors that service equipment that contains oil or chemical products.


  • Contact the Department of Police (by dialing (804) 523-5219 or 5911 from any College phone) to report any oil and chemical spills, releases, or leaks that are not contained and/or pose a threat to human health and/or the environment.
  • Department of Police shall notify the Safety Manager, Facilities Management and Planning.
  • Contractors must report oil and chemical spills to the Reynolds Project Manager and the Department of Police.
  • Trained employees may only respond to small incidental oil or chemical spills. Large oil (greater than 5 gallons) or chemical (greater than 1 gallon) must be managed by the local fire department. The Department of Police will contact the fire department.
  • When responding to a small incidental spill, follow all relevant health and safety guidance provided by material safety data sheets (SDS).


Employees and students may respond to small incidental chemical spills that occur during the course of a routine work task or project so long as the spill is not greater than one gallon and does not pose a threat to human health, safety, or the environment. See Section H of this guide for spill cleanup instructions. If a chemical spill occurs and the product is unknown, uncontrollable, immediately hazardous to human health or the environment, evacuate and secure the area then contact the Department of Police immediately and report the spill (see Section F). Hazardous chemical spills may only be managed by trained personnel.

Exposure: In the event that you are exposed to a chemical, immediately wash/flush the exposed area for 15 minutes with water. Emergency shower and eyewash stations are located in laboratories and areas where hazardous materials are used or stored. If an emergency shower or eyewash is unavailable, use a restroom sink or shower.

Locate the chemical Safety Data Sheet (SDS) and review Section 4 "First Aid Measures" to determine the appropriate treatment and response actions, seek medical attention if necessary. SDS must be located and available in areas where hazardous chemicals are used or stored.

Shelter-In-Place: In the event of a large hazardous chemical spill that occurs outdoors, it may be necessary to take refuge within a building to help protect against exposure to hazardous gases, vapors, or fumes. If you are instructed to shelter-in-place, do the following:

  • Do not leave the building.
  • Locate a designated shelter area within the building or move to an appropriate shelter area that meets the following conditions:
    1. A room located in an interior space of a hardened structure on the second floor or above (many chemicals are denser than air and will collect in low areas).
    2. Not possess any windows or skylights
    3. Be equipped with a door
    4. Have ample space for everyone that is expected to occupy the shelter to sit comfortably
  • Attempt to block all vents and openings into the room with whatever materials are present in the room such as tape, plastic trash bags, and clothing.
  • Remain sheltered in place until instructed to leave by emergency response personnel.
  • Notify the Department of Police (804) 523-5911 or emergency response personnel 5911 of your location and status.


Determine the quantity of oil spilled and the source of the release. Oil spills less than 5 gallons that are contained and do not have the potential to affect the environment may be managed by employees and students. If the oil spill is greater than 5 gallons or has or will affect the environment contact, the Department of Police immediately, and report the spill (see Section G)


The Department of Police will contact Fire Department and Environment Protection Agency (EPA) for spills affecting the Chesapeake storm drainages. Notify the Department of Police by dialing (804) 523-5911 or 5911 from any College phone and provide the following details to the Police Dispatcher.

  • Your name
  • Contact information
  • Location of the spill
  • Chemical(s) or product(s) involved
  • SDS Description and identification number
  • Approximate quantity
  • Injuries and/or property damage
  • Status of the spill (e.g. contained, continued, abating, increasing, etc.)
  • Any other information that can assist in identifying, containing, or responding to the spill.

The Department of Police will respond to the spill and will contact additional emergency resources as necessary.


1. Contact the Department of Police prior to responding to a chemical spill for assistance if needed.

2. Review the SDS to determine the appropriate PPE and clean up procedures. If the SDS is unavailable, contact the Department of Police for assistance. Do not respond to a spill unless you have reviewed the SDS. Refer to the following sections of the SDS for clean-up information:

o Section 3 - Hazard Identification

o Section 6 - Accidental Release Measures

o Section 8 - Exposure Control and Personal Protection

3. Retrieve spill cleanup supplies and PPE. The Department of Police has placed spill response equipment throughout the college; contact the Department of Police for spill supplies and assistance.

4. Wear appropriate PPE as recommended by the SDS.

5. Check equipment and containers for leaks, damage, or holes. Place damaged or leaking containers in impervious secondary containment.

6. Surround the spill with absorbent materials to contain the spill and prevent further contamination.

7. If the spill is increasing its size, use absorbent or impervious material to block the most likely path the spilled material(s) will take.

8. Ensure that spill cleanup equipment is compatible with the spilled chemical(s).

9. Start from the outside perimeter of the spill and begin absorbing the product using absorbent pads, booms, rags, or other media.

10. Collect all contaminated absorbent materials, PPE, and tools and place them in an appropriate rigid sealable container or sturdy plastic bag.

11. Label the container holding the spill debris with a label that has both the date and the name of the spilled material(s) and include the words "Hazardous Waste".

12. Contact the Safety Manage to schedule the removal and dispose of the spill debris. Do not dispose contaminated clean up materials in the municipal waste bins.


Last Revised: 05/23/2019