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, report the event through the Employer's First Report (EFR) system. This will also initiate the campus Workers Compensation process. For more details and guidance please review the UCSC Risk Services page on Injury Reporting & Medical Treatment


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

back to top

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. 

back to top

Injury Response and Management

In the event of a work-related incident, injury or illness please refer to the Office of Risk Services - Injury Reporting & Medical Treatment page for current and detailed guidance on reporting requirements and assistance navigating the workers compensation process.

Important details to remember:

  • Call 911 if an employee sustains an injury that is life-threatening and/or requires emergency medical treatment or transportation.

  • Notify the Office of Risk Services (831-459-1787 or 831-459-2850) 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.

  • Employees may still seek medical assistance for less serious injuries, ask the employee if they would like to be seen by a doctor. Necessary forms can be found on the Risk Services - Injury Reporting & Medical Treatment page.
  • An incident report must be submitted through the Employer's First Report (EFR) system within 24 hours. Report can be initiated by anyone familiar with the incident. Report must be submitted for all incidents requiring medical attention.

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


back to top