Emergency Instructions for Chemical Exposures

WCGSMS Students working in a Weill Cornell laboratory where there is a spill or chemical exposure should observe the following steps:

Exposure and Injury Response

Get Help
  • Get help from a nearby coworker! For emergencies seek medical assistance.

First Aid and Decontamination
  • Remove all contaminated clothing and jewelry.

  • Biological/Radiological Skin Exposure: Wash with soap and water for 5 minutes.

  • Eye Exposure: Flush with eyewash for 15 minutes.

  • Chemical Exposure: Flush with eyewash or safety shower for 15 minutes.

  • Inhalation/ Ingestion: Seek medical assistance immediately.

Seek Medical Assistance
  • If you are seriously injured, incapacitated or need onsite medical assistance: Call NYP EMS (212-472-2222) and say: "I work for the Weill Cornell Medical College. I need onsite emergency medical assistance at the Weill Cornell Medical College laboratory." Provide lab location, hazardous material involved and extent of exposure/ injury, or go to the NYP Emergency Room.

  • Minor injury/ exposures: Go to Student Health Services. During off hours go to NYP Emergency Room.

  • Bring Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS) when obtaining medical assistance for chemical exposure.

  • Notify supervisor and contact EHS at 646-962-7233. (646-WMC-SAFE)

Spill Clean–up and Response

If spill involves injury or represents a fire/health hazard:
  • Alert / Evacuate: Immediately alert area occupants and evacuate the area. Close all doors leading to affected area and do not re-enter. Restrict access to area.

  • Report: Notify supervisor and EHS of the spill and be prepared to give information on any exposure or injury, spill location, name and amount of material(s) spilled.

Other spills can be cleaned up by lab staff, if it is a small quantity, you understand the hazards, have appropriate personal protective equipment and are trained in spill clean-up procedures.

If you are at a non-WCMC lab (i.e. Sloan Kettering or Rockefeller) – observe your facilities’ emergency procedures and follow up at SHS for incident reporting.

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