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Emergency Procedures


Accidents and First Aid

University Policy on First Aid (top)

The University First Aid Policy provides the procedure for responding to accidents where an injury or illness has occurred. The University Policy on First Aid is as follows:

1. When immediate first aid is needed because of an injury or illness, first call the Public Safety Department at 911, then if there are qualified first aiders in your building, seek their assistance. First aiders may render aid for life-threatening conditions such as stopped breathing or excessive bleeding; treatment such as bandaging or splinting should not be attempted except under the supervision of proctors or medical personnel. All proctors are trained first aiders, and render this service as part of their job duties.

2. Persons with severe injuries or illnesses, which require emergency department facilities for treatment, are to be transported directly to the Princeton Medical Center. Persons with less serious injuries or illnesses should obtain treatment at the McCosh Health Center.

3. On the Main Campus, transportation to the McCosh Health Center or the Princeton Medical Center is provided by the University Public Safety Department or the Princeton First Aid and Rescue Squad. On the Forrestal Campus, transportation is provided by the Emergency Services Unit of the Public Safety Department; however, this unit only transports patients to the Princeton Medical Center unless directed otherwise by a University physician.

4. All first aid supplies maintained by University departments and offices must be kept in sanitary condition. These supplies must be limited to simple household supplies such as band-aids and sterile gauze pads of various sizes which can be used to help in controlling heavy bleeding. In addition, the following personal protective materials are required and should be used when there is potential for exposure to blood or other body fluids:

  • At least one pair of large size disposable latex gloves such as surgical or laboratory gloves.
  • An airway resuscitator such as the “Pocket Mask” for use in mouth-to-mouth resuscitation.
  • A spill kit containing an appropriate disinfectant and other cleanup and disposal materials for handling spills of blood, vomitus, or other body fluids.

The supplies listed above have been approved by Employee Health as required by OSHA regulations. No other first aid supplies are authorized unless arranged through Employee Health. Treatment requiring more elaborate supplies should be sought at the McCosh Health Center, as indicated above.

Persons who wish to acquire first aid or CPR training are encouraged to avail themselves of local resources such as the Red Cross, local first aid squads,
or University programs when offered.

First Aid Procedures For Chemical Exposure (top)

The following procedures should be followed in the event of chemical exposure. In all cases, the incident should be reported to your laboratory manager, supervisor or principal investigator, regardless of severity. Consult your department manager to determine whether or not a First Report of Accidental Injury or Occupational Illness form should be completed.

Chemicals on Skin or Clothing

  1. Immediately flush with water for no less than 15 minutes (except for Hydrofluoric Acid, Flammable Solids or >10% Phenol). For larger spills, the safety shower should be used.
  2. While rinsing, quickly remove all contaminated clothing or jewelry. Seconds count. Do not waste time because of modesty.
  3. Use caution when removing pullover shirts or sweaters to prevent contamination of the eyes.
  4. Check the Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS) to determine if any delayed effects should be expected.
  5. Discard contaminated clothing or launder them separately from other clothing. Leather garments or accessories cannot be decontaminated and should be discarded.

Do not use solvents to wash skin. They remove the natural protective oils from the skin and can cause irritation and inflammation. In some cases, washing with a solvent may facilitate absorption of a toxic chemical.

For flammable solids on skin, first brush off as much of the solid as possible, then proceed as described above.

For hydrofluoric acid, rinse with water for 5 minutes and apply calcium gluconate gel, then get immediate medical attention.  If no gel is available, rinse for 15 minutes and go immediately to University Health Services at McCosh or Princeton Medical Center.

For phenol concentrations more than 10%, immediately irrigate or swab the affected area with polyethylene glycol (PEG). If PEG is not available, rinse with large volumes of water for 15 minutes.  Do not use ethanol.  Proceed as described above.

Chemicals in Eyes

  1. Immediately flush eye(s) with water for at least fifteen minutes. The eyes must be forcibly held open to wash, and the eyeballs must be rotated so all surface area is rinsed. The use of an eye wash fountain is desirable so hands are free to hold the eyes open. If an eyewash is not available, pour water on the eye, rinsing from the nose outward to avoid contamination of the unaffected eye.
  2. Remove contact lenses while rinsing. Do not lose time removing contact lenses before rinsing. Do not attempt to rinse and reinsert contact lenses.
  3. Seek medical attention regardless of the severity or apparent lack of severity. If an ambulance or transportation to McCosh Health Center is needed, contact Public Safety at 911. Explain carefully what chemicals were involved.

Chemical Inhalation

  1. dizzynessClose containers, open windows or otherwise increase ventilation, and move to fresh air.
  2. If symptoms, such as headaches, nose or throat irritation, dizziness, or drowsiness persist, seek medical attention by calling Public Safety at 911 or going to University Health Services at McCosh. Explain carefully what chemicals were involved.
  3. Review the MSDS to determine what health effects are expected, including delayed effects.

Accidental Ingestion of Chemicals

  1. Immediately go to University Health Services at McCosh or contact the Poison Control Center at 800-962-1253 for instructions.
  1. Do not induce vomiting unless directed to do so by a health care provider.

Accidental Injection of Chemicals

Wash the area with soap and water and seek medical attention, if necessary.

Exposure to Infectious Agents (top)

Intact Skin

  1. Remove contaminated clothing.
  2. Vigorously wash contaminated skin for 1 minute with soap and water.

Broken, cut or damaged skin or puncture wound

  1. Remove contaminated clothing.
  2. Vigorously wash contaminated skin for 5 minutes with soap and water.
  3. Seek medical attention at McCosh Health Center.


  1. Immediately flush eyes for at least 15 minutes with water, preferably using an eyewash. If no eyewash is available, pour water on the eye(s) for 15 minutes, rinsing from the nose outward to avoid contamination of the unaffected eye.
  2. Hold eyelids away from your eyeball and rotate your eyes so that all surfaces may be washed thoroughly.
  3. Seek medical attention at McCosh Health Center.

Ingestion or Inhalation

  1. Seek medical attention at McCosh Health Center.
  2. Do not induce vomiting unless advised to do so by a health care provider.

Exposure to Radioactive Materials (top)

See the University Radioactive Materials guide here

Injury/Illness Reporting Procedures (top)

Work related injury or illness must be reported to the Office of Risk Management using the form Employers First Report of Accidental Injury or Occupational Illness. The information on this form may initiate an accident investigation by EHS, where applicable and will provide the information needed for Workers Compensation Insurance and the OSHA Log of Occupational Injuries and Illnesses. Forms are available through McCosh Health Center, your department manager, or Risk Management.



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