Life-Threatening Injury or Situation

Call 911 for immediate response

DRS personnel are available during business hours and after-hours to consult with emergency responders as needed. They will be notified by the University Police Department if their assistance is requested after 911 is called.

Report All Incidents to DRS

Contact DRS immediately to report an injury, exposure, spill, fire, near miss, or any other incident at 217-333-2755 or DRS will reply during business hours.

If this is an emergency during business hours or after-hours, call 911.

DRS investigates incidents and near misses to help determine root causes and offers suggestions to prevent them from reoccurring in the future. For more information about Incident Investigation, see the Incident Investigation page here.

Non-life Threatening Injury or Exposure

If you are exposed to a hazardous material through an incident in the laboratory, inform your Principal Investigator (PI) or Laboratory Manager and seek medical attention immediately. Early medical intervention can be critical, depending on the agent or hazard involved. Emergency eyewashes and showers should absolutely be utilized in the case of an eye or skin exposure. 

If there has been an occupational exposure to blood borne pathogens, complete the Exposure Report Form, and bring this with you when receiving medical treatment. This should be completed regardless of where the injury occurred or whether you receive medical treatment.

If exposed to potentially infectious or recombinant or synthetic nucleic acid molecules through contact with skin, mucous membranes, or clothing, the exposed area should immediately be washed thoroughly, and any contaminated clothing should be removed. The exposure should be reported to your supervisor. Medical follow-up is recommended if: (1) the exposure involves eyes, nose, or mouth, (2) skin is damaged at or near the exposure area, or (3) the exposure is through parenteral contact (e.g., needlestick or cut by sharp object). In such cases, a qualified healthcare professional should perform treatment and provide information regarding risks of infection.

In the event of a laser accident, immediately ensure that the laser shutter is closed or de-energized completely. Provide for the safety of personnel as needed. If a laser eye injury is suspected, have the injured person keep their head upright and still to restrict bleeding in the eye and contact a physician for evaluation as soon as possible.

When you seek treatment, bring contact information for your PI so he or she can be consulted for additional technical information regarding the agent or hazard. If your exposure involves a chemical, bring along the Safety Data Sheet (SDS) if one is available. DO NOT delay seeking medical attention if a SDS cannot be located immediately.

Keep in mind that it is possible for you to be exposed to a hazard without being aware that it happened. If you become ill and suspect that your illness is associated with a previous exposure, seek medical attention immediately. Inform the physician about the hazards present in your laboratory. If you become ill and do not immediately associate your illness with hazards in the laboratory, it is still important to inform the physician about hazards that may be associated with your work. Even if a connection between the illness and the work environment seems unlikely, it is important for the treating physician to have a complete history on file.

Fires and Spills

Call 911 in the case of a fire, even if it is extinguished, and contact DRS as soon as it is safe to do so. Fires need to be investigated and the situation cleared by the fire department. Evacuate the area by utilizing a fire alarm pull station. Only attempt to fight a fire if the appropriate extinguishing materials are available and you are trained to do so.

Call 911 in the case of a complicated spill. Complicated spills require assistance from outside specialists from one of the local fire departments. Simple spills can be handled by personnel if appropriate clean up materials are available, procedures are in place, and it is safe to do so. See the following pages for handling spills:

Biological Material Spill

Chemical Spill

Radiological Material Spill

Report all spills to DRS.

Medical Treatment Options


Students may seek basic medical care at the McKinley Health Center or with their personal physician.


Employees, including students that are compensated for their work, should seek treatment at the Occupational Medicine Departments identified by the Workers' Compensation program:


Carle Occupational Medicine

810 W. Anthony Drive, Urbana, IL 61801, (217) 383-3077

Safeworks Illinois

1806 N. Market Street, Champaign, IL 61820, (217) 356-6150


Carle Hospital Emergency Department

602 W. University Avenue, Urbana, IL 61801, (217) 383-3313

OSF Heart of Mary Medical Center Emergency Department

1400 W. Park Street, Urbana, IL 61801, (217) 337-2131



    Last Updated: 7/22/2024