Exposures, Accidents, and Emergencies

Monitoring potential exposures to hazardous chemicals, providing access to appropriate medical consultation and evaluations, responding quickly and effectively to support individuals should an injury occur, and responding to spills, fires or other incidents are all important components of a comprehensive lab safety program. If you have questions regarding details in any of these areas, please contact EH&S at 459-2553 or ehs@ucsc.edu.

If an incident occurs, complete the "Incident Analysis Form" and email it to ehs@ucsc.edu within seven days. 

Exposure Monitoring

Medical Evaluations

Injury Management

Emergencies and Chemical Spills

Exposure Monitoring

Exposure monitoring shall be performed in the laboratory as required by specific regulatory mandates (e.g., use of formaldehyde) or when there is reason to believe exposures are in excess of Cal-OSHA Permissible Exposure Levels (PELs).  The Principal Investigator and Laboratory Safety Representative shall maintain a list of materials used by the laboratory which have a specific mandate for exposure monitoring. EH&S may also be contacted (9-2553, ehs@ucsc.edu) to provide lab-specific chemical inventory information.

Due to the large number of chemicals used in laboratories, exposure guidelines may not be readily available for many compounds.  Control of these chemicals will be based on toxicity and exposure potential as described in industry-recognized references.  Laboratory personnel should be aware of the hazards associated with the materials they use, including symptoms of exposure such as irritation, dizziness, etc. 

Exposure monitoring shall be coordinated through EH&S.  All documentation associated with exposure monitoring shall be maintained by the Principal Investigator and EH&S. The Cal-OSHA PELs are listed in the table below.

Cal-OSHA 5155 Permissible Exposure Limits (PEL) Table AC1

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Medical Evaluations

Medical consultation and/or examination shall be made available to employees and students of the laboratory under the following circumstances:

  •  An individual develops signs or symptoms associated with exposure to the hazardous materials being used.
  •  Monitoring reveals exposure above the PEL or "Action Level" (typically 1/2 PEL) established for the chemical.
  •  An accident such as a spill or equipment failure results in possible overexposure to hazardous materials.

Medical consultations and exams shall be conducted by a licensed physician at no cost to the employee.  Records of medical evaluations should include results of all tests and recommendations from the physician concerning the need for further medical testing. 

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Injury Management

Follow these steps for a work-related incident, injury or illness:

  1. Call 911 if the employee sustains an injury that is life-threatening and/or requires emergency medical treatment or transportation. Notify the Office of Risk Services (459-2850) as soon as possible. If the incident occurs after normal business hours or on the weekend, leave a voice message with a brief description of the event and appropriate contact information. The University may need to report the incident to Cal-OSHA within 8 hours, so prompt communication to Risk Services is critical.

  2. For less serious injuries, ask the employee if s/he would like to be seen by a doctor. 
  3. If the employee wishes to be seen by a doctor:

    • Complete the UCSC Employee Authorization for Medical Treatment form. 

    • Call UrgencyMED at (831) 704-3030 and make an appointment for the employee or, if necessary, notify UrgencyMED that the employee is en route due to urgent need for immediate treatment. Note: If UrgencyMED is closed, please direct the employee to Dominican Hospital Emergency Department.

    • Provide the completed Authorization form to the employee for their first visit to the doctor.

    • Contact Risk Services by telephone at 459-2850 to let us know that the employee will be seeking medical treatment. Please leave the information on voice mail if necessary along with your name and phone number.

  4. Complete the online Employer's First Report (EFR) within 24 hours of the reported injury. Information must be submitted for all incidents requiring medical attention.

  5. Complete the EH&S "Incident Analysis Form" for all incidents, including major injuries, minor injuries, first aid only treatment, or near-misses. Email the Incident Analysis Form to EH&S at ehs@ucsc.edu.  

To access further information and FAQs related to injury management, refer to the Workers' Compensation FAQ for Supervisors

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