Take the following precautions to help prevent spills:


  • Reduce clutter and unnecessary materials in the work area;
  • Eliminate tripping hazards and other obstructions;
  • Have all necessary equipment readily available before starting work;
  • Periodically check equipment (e.g., fume hoods, biological safety cabinets, sinks, lab benches) for signs of deterioration.


  • Use sturdy shelves with lips;
  • Store containers away from shelf edges;
  • Store large containers on lower shelves;
  • Store chemicals in compatible containers, that can be closed tightly;
  • Store chemicals by compatibility class and then alphabetically;
  • Inspect the storage area regularly for leaky and defective containers;
  • Store highly hazardous liquids in sealed, chemical-resistant secondary containers.


  • Use carts and secondary containment to transport items;
  • Use bottle carriers for any glass bottle greater than 250 ml;
  • Use straps to secure gas cylinders;
  • Use plastic-coated, shatter resistant bottles, if appropriate.

Dispensing chemicals

  • Pay careful attention to the size of containers to avoid overflowing;
  • When transferring chemicals from containers greater than 4 L use pumps or other mechanical devices instead of pouring chemicals;
  • Pour from an original container into a large mouth beaker first;
  • Use funnels to pour into small openings;
  • Work in secondary containment to capture leaks and spills.
Last Updated: 4/9/2020