Environmental Health & Safety

Mercury Spill Control Policy


January 2010

 


 

Scope:

This policy is prepared in accordance with Amherst College Plans, Policies and Standard Operating Guidelines, the Amherst College Environmental Health and Safety Committee, and the Environmental Compliance Committee.

Purpose:

Amherst College is committed to provide a safe environment for students and employees of the College who have need to work with and around hazardous materials and to those areas of the Campus which may be affected by presence of such materials. The management of mercury spills is crucial to that goal. This policy is written to provide the overall requirements for the management of mercury spills in all laboratories, work spaces, facilities, and other property of Amherst College.

Applicability:

All departments, employees, students, and visitors at Amherst College.

Incidental Spills

Incidental spills are defined as mercury releases into a room which do not exceed one (1) pound per 310 CMR Subpart P, Massachusetts Oil and Hazardous Material List.
A. Spill Response
  1. Notify all other personnel in the affected room.
  2. All personnel exit the room and close the doors to the room.
  3. Prevent others from entering the room.
  4. Notify the Campus Police Department, x2111 that a small spill has occurred. The Campus Police will notify the Chemical Hygiene Officer, x2736 or the EH & S Manager, x8189 if the CHO is unavailable.
  5. Remain at the door of the room to explain to the First Responder the quantity and location of the spill
B. Spill Remediation
  1. The First Responder shall obtain the Mercury Vacuum Apparatus stored in Room 130, Merrill Science Center.
  2. The First Responder shall evaluate the spill quantity and location for feasibility of complete remediation.
  3. The First Responder shall vacuum up all visible mercury and investigate for potential hidden locations where the mercury may have dispersed.
  4. If the First Responder determines that conditions do not permit hidden locations for spilled mercury, the spill site shall be declared remediated and normal functions resumed in the room.
  5. If hidden locations are determined, the First Responder shall notify the EH & S manager, x8189 who will arrange resources to make complete treatment of the spill possible. Normal functions can not resume in the affected room until complete remediation exists.
C. Handling of the Retrieved Mercury
  1. The mercury vacuum pump trap shall be emptied of the mercury into an appropriate container and properly labeled as hazardous waste.
  2. The container shall be placed into a Satellite Accumulation Area for safekeeping and handled in accordance with Policy 8.2, Satellite Accumulation Area Management Policy.

Reportable Spills

Reportable spills are defined as mercury releases into a room which equals or exceeds one (1) pound per 310 CMR Subpart P, Massachusetts Oil and Hazardous Material List.
A. Spill Response
  1. Notify all other personnel in the affected room.
  2. All personnel exit the room and close the doors to the room.
  3. Prevent others from entering the room.
  4. Notify the Campus Police Department, x2111 that a large spill has occurred. The Campus Police will notify the the EH & S Manager, x8189.
  5. Remain at the door of the room to explain to the First Responder the quantity and location of the spill.
B. Spill Remediation
  1. The EH&S Manger shall notify the Amherst College Emergency Response Team of the spill.
  2. Amherst College Emergency Response Team shall treat the spill in accordance with the Amherst College Emergency Contingency Plan.
C. Handling of the Retrieved Mercury

Handling of the retrieved mercury shall be accomplished in accordance with the Amherst College Emergency Contingency Plan.

Reporting

Notification of reportable mercury spills per 310 CMR Subpart P, Massachusetts Oil and Hazardous Material List shall be accomplished in accordance with the Amherst College Hazard Communication Plan 2.17 and the Emergency Management Plan, 5.0.