Hazardous Materials

Any uncontrolled release of hazardous materials is considered a spill and should be dealt with in an appropriate manner.

Hazardous Materials

What to do if there is an explosion or fire?

  • Evacuate immediate area, closing doors behind you
  • Activate fire alarm
  • If possible, control fire with the appropriate extinguisher but do not place yourself or others in danger.
  • Do not attempt to rescue injured persons if doing so places you in danger.
  • Everyone must evacuate the building when a fire alarm sounds, closing doors as they leave. Follow “Evacuation Procedures.”
  • Call 911 to ensure that the Fire Department received the alarm. Follow “911 Procedures.”
  • Wait for emergency personnel outside the main entrance of the building. Provide information on hazardous materials involved (e.g. MSDS).
  • Do not re-enter the building until the Fire Department gives permission to do so.

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What to do if there is a gas leak?

  • Call 911.
  • Shut down equipment.
  • Evacuate building, closing doors as you leave.

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What to do if there is a chemical, bio-hazard or radiation spill?

Any uncontrolled release of hazardous materials is considered a spill and these procedures must be followed.

  • Evacuate immediate area. Shut down equipment.
  • Isolate area and prevent re-entry.
  • Call 911 and follow “911 Procedures.”
  • Provide the following information about the spilled material to the operator.
  • Location (street address, building / department, room number)
  • Any injuries
  • Chemical Name
  • Quantity
  • Hazards
  • Do not hang up until the operator releases you.
  • Wait for emergency personnel outside the main entrance of the building. Provide information (e.g. MSDS).
  • Call Campus Security at 604-822-2222.
  • Inform Supervisor or Department Head.

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What do you do with the Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS)?

  • Must be readily available at the worksite.
  • Always refer to MSDS prior to handling any hazardous material.
  • Hazardous products must be properly labeled.
  • For additional information see the MSDS web page.

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What information is available in the Workplace Materials Information System (WHMIS)?

Symbol Class Hazard
SymbolA_sm CLASS A: COMPRESSED GAS Includes compressed gases, dissolved gases, and gases liquefied by compression or refrigeration.
SymbolB_sm CLASS B: FLAMMABLE AND COMBUSTIBLE MATERIAL Includes solids, liquids, and gases capable of catching fire in the presence of a spark or open flame under normal working conditions.
SymbolC_sm CLASS C: OXIDIZING MATERIAL For ordinary combustible materials such as paper, wood, cardboard, and most plastics.
SymbolD1_sm CLASS D: POISONOUS AND INFECTIOUS MATERIAL Division 1: Materials Causing Immediate and Serious Toxic Effects Can cause death or immediate injury when a person is exposed to small amounts. Examples: sodium cyanide, hydrogen sulphide.
SymbolD2_sm CLASS D: POISONOUS AND INFECTIOUS MATERIAL Division 2: Materials Causing Other Toxic Effects Can cause life-threatening and serious long-term health problems as well as less severe but immediate reactions in a person who is repeatedly exposed to small amounts.
SymbolD3_sm CLASS D: POISONOUS AND INFECTIOUS MATERIAL Division 3: Biohazardous Infectious MATERIAL Contain harmful micro-organisms that have been classified into Risk Groups 2, 3, and 4.
SymbolE_sm CLASS E: CORROSIVE MATERIAL Includes caustic and acid materials that can destroy the skin or eat through metals. Examples: sodium hydroxide, hydrochloric acid, nitric acid.
SymbolF_sm CLASS F: DANGEROUSLY REACTIVE MATERIAL May self-react dangerously (i.e. explode) upon standing or when exposed to physical shock; increased pressure; temperature, or emit toxic gases when exposed to water.

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