H.E.L.P. Meeting Minutes


A. Emergency Spill Response

I. Greg Kuhn, a certified industrial hygienist with the consultation division of WISHA, spoke about Emergency Spill Response.


Greg stated that it is the company¹s choice whether they want to evacuate and call in an outside company or have a spill response team in house to clean up a spill.

Greg clarified the difference between an Incidental Release and an Emergency Response. An incidental release is a spill the employee can handle with their PPE, which is usually gloves, eye and face protection, but not respiratory protection. An Emergency Response is a spill in which trained personnel must be called in to clean it up. This type of spill requires consideration of quantity of chemical, size of room, evaporation rate, ventilation, etc in order to determine the type of personal protective equipment to use. Greg stated that the Respiratory Protection Standard requires 4 people minimum (2 people to go in and 2 people to stay out) to be at the site of a spill of unknown quantity and/or composition or if the chemical concentration in the air is potentially immediately dangerous to life and health (IDLH)

A person should have 8 hour Emergency Spill Response training if the potential for exposure is low. A person should have 24 hour training when there is more potential for exposure.

Refresher training must be conducted once per year. The regulations require ³sufficient training to maintain competency², which can be demonstrated by taking a competency test. You must be able to justify the test is enough to demonstrate competency. Experience in spill response also demonstrates competency.

Greg says you should be able to measure the chemical concentration of a spill to +25% accuracy to determine whether you¹ve exceeded the STEL or PEL.

September 1, 1999 - The new respiratory protection standard is coming out. It will include medical evaluation and management analysis.

II. Emergency Spill Response (ESR) companies

Representatives from local ESR companies were present to answer questions and clarify their services. A chart was compiled to show the services various ESR companies offer.

ETSI government services of Olympia specializes in the stabilization of reactive and potentially explosive chemicals. They also do sampling and analysis of compressed gas cylinders.

III. David Cummerlowe of Cadre spoke about the Control, Cost, Standard of Care, and Concern to the public and the employees in regards to the issue of emergency response.

David said a company must have top management support. Both training and time cost money. It costs a minimum of $1500 to hire a company to clean up a spill.

He discussed decontamination of employees. Only Harborview Medical Center has a decontamination room. The University of Washington hospital is in the process of getting one.

B. Other Topics

I. Brad Gong spoke about recycling lab plastics. He asked for support from the HELP group. This topic will be on the agenda for the next HELP meeting.

II. Joe Skovron is looking into the tritium bioassay requirements. Joe says he will let the group know the state¹s interpretationof the regulatory guides.

III. Rebecca Stager brought up the point that the boilers that are attached to the autoclaves need to be permitted just as larger boilers do. The boiler also needs a licensed operator, however the operator of the autoclave

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