Chemical Spills Checklist

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Labor Occupational Health Program

Summary Statement

Checklist on handling of hazardous chemical spills, including emergency action plans and hazardous materials business plans. Part of a collection. Click on the 'collection' button to access the other items.

These tailgate/toolbox talks were developed for use under California OSHA regulations. The complete set is available from the Labor Occupational Health Program at UC Berkeley. For ordering information, visit the website ( The American Conference of Government Industrial Hygienists (ACGIH) has adapted these talks to apply to federal OSHA regulations. To contact ACGIH, visit its web site (

Date Prepared:_________________________ By:________________________
Project Name/No.______________________ Location:___________________

  • Check the box if the statement is true.
  • Fill in the blanks where thePencil Icon appears.


  • The site has a written Hazardous Materials Business Plan which has been approved by local authorities. (Plans are required if the total amount of hazardous chemicals present is at least 55 gallons of liquid, 500 pounds of solid, or 200 cubic feet of gas. Specific points covered in a plan may vary depending on local agency regulations.) [Title 19, California Code of Regulations (CCR), 2703 et seq]
  • If there is a Business Plan, it includes procedures such as:
    • Who has authority during a hazardous materials emergency
    • Roles of specific personnel in an emergency
    • Training for those with defined roles in an emergency
    • Whom to notify, and how, when there is an emergency
    • Pre-emergency planning
    • Emergency and personal protective equipment available
    • Evacuation routes, refuge, and safe distances
    • Site security and control
    • Emergency first aid and medical treatment
    • Evaluation of responses to emergencies, and follow-up.

    [Title 19, CCR, 2703 et seq]

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Our Business Plan is available at:


  • The site has an Emergency Action Plan (EAP). (This must be in writing if there are more than ten workers; otherwise it is still required but need not be written.) The plan covers incident reporting; rescue and evacuation procedures; communications and alarms; responsibilities of designated personnel during emergencies; and required training for those with such responsibilities. [3220, 1924, and 6184(a)(4)]
  • All employees have received training on the EAP, and copies of the EAP are available to employees. [3220]
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Our EAP is available at:


  • Materials and conditions on the site which might lead to major chemical spills, leaks, explosions, or other emergencies have been identified.
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List identified hazards on the site:



  • Emergency phone numbers are properly posted on the site, and are easy to read. [1512(e)]
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Locations where numbers are posted:


  • Local emergency responders know how to access the site and where the main office is, to obtain directions to the location of an emergency.


  • The company has a written Hazard Communication Program. [5194]
  • All workers have received basic Hazard Communication training. [5194]
  • Everyone potentially exposed to hazardous materials has received specific training in health effects, safe use, minimizing exposure, personal protective equipment, proper disposal, and emergency procedures. [1510 and 5194]
  • All containers of chemical products are properly labeled. [5194(b)(1) and 5417(a)]
  • Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDSs) are available on the site for all hazardous materials which are present. [5194]
  • Workers know where to find MSDSs and how to understand them. [5194]
  • Personnel working in adjoining areas of the job site, including subcontractors, are aware of the work and the hazards. [1509]
  • Appropriate cleanup materials are available for leaks or spills. [1935(b) and 5192]
  • If the site receives, stores, uses, generates, disposes of, or transports hazardous waste (as defined by state law), it complies with:

    • All requirements of its own Hazardous Materials Business Plan.
    • All requirements of the Cal/OSHA standard on Hazardous Waste Operations and Emergency Response (HAZWOPER). [5192]
    • All requirements of the California Environmental Health Standards for the Management of Hazardous Waste. [Title 22, California Code of Regulations (CCR), 66001 et seq]

      (The above include requirements for registration, licensing, hazard identification, labeling, training, work practices, storage, disposal, inspection, record keeping, personal protective equipment, transportation, shipping manifests, cleanup, and emergency response.)


  • If necessary, personal protective equipment (PPE) is provided by the company and worn by workers. The types used are appropriate for the work and give adequate protection. [1514]
  • Appropriate respiratory protection is worn to supplement engineering and work practice controls if exposure to chemicals during an emergency or cleanup may exceed Cal/OSHA limits. [1531(a)]
  • Respirators are properly stored and maintained. [1531(d)]
  • The proper types of respirators and cartridges for the work are used. [1531(b)]
  • Respirators, cartridges, and replacement parts have been approved by the Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) or the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH). [1531(b)]
  • Workers who wear respirators have been medically evaluated, fit-tested, and trained. [1531(c) and (h)]
  • If respirators are used, the company has a written Respiratory Protection Program. [1531(f)]
  • Impermeable gloves of the correct type are worn to prevent skin contact with chemicals during an emergency or cleanup, except where gloves might become caught in moving parts or machinery. [1520] (To determine the appropriate glove for the substance, consult the MSDS for the product, or contact the glove supplier or manufacturer.)
  • Full protective clothing (coveralls, etc.) is used to minimize skin contact with chemicals where necessary. [1522]
  • Eye and face protection is used where there is risk of chemicals splashing or spraying into eyes. Eye and face protection meets the requirements of American National Standards Institute (ANSI) Z 87.1 1979, American National Standard Practice for Occupational
    and Educational Eye and Face Protection
    . [1516]


  • Fire extinguishers of the proper type are readily available wherever flammable liquids are stored, transported, or used. [1922(a) and 1933]
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Types and locations of fire extinguishers on this site:



  • Other fire control devices (such as fire blankets, sand for extinguishing fires, sprinklers, and standpipes) are available if necessary.
  • Emergency eye washes and showers are available if workers may be exposed to hazardous or corrosive materials. These facilities are readily accessible and in good working order. [1512(f)]
  • Effective communication procedures and means of communication exist to notify supervisors and medical personnel of an emergency anywhere on the site. Emergency communication devices (telephones, intercoms, megaphones, radios, alarms, etc.) are
    available. [1512(g)]
  • (If applicable:) For work areas 48 feet or more above or below ground, a Stokes basket, stretcher, or other equipment for moving injured people is provided. Equipment is properly stored and in good condition. [1512(h)]
  • (If applicable:) If workers enter confined spaces, there is a written confined space program and all procedures are followed. [5156-5159] Confined space rescue equipment (respirators, harnesses, hoists, communication devices, etc.) is available and in good repair. Workers are trained in rescue procedures, and training is documented. [5158(c)(2) and (e)]
  • First aid equipment is available. There are personnel trained in first aid, or a designated medical clinic nearby. [1512(b) and (c)]
  • There is proper equipment for prompt transportation of injured workers to the nearest appropriate medical facility. [1512(e)]
  • All emergency equipment is properly and clearly marked.
Other Hazards Noted Action

Near Miss Reports: