Emergency Response Spill Clean Up

Infectious Medical Waste & Disease Control

Emergency Response Spill Clean Up

The management of spills is covered in 64 CSR 56 WV Infectious Medical Waste Rule - Section 7.

Facilities - Large Quantity Generators

All infectious medical waste management facilities shall keep a spill containment and cleanup kit within the vicinity of any area where infectious medical waste is managed on a bulk storage basis. The location of the kit shall provide for rapid and efficient cleanup of spills anywhere within the area.

IMW Transporters

All vehicles transporting infectious medical waste shall carry a spill containment and cleanup kit in the vehicle whenever infectious medical waste is conveyed.

Large Quantity Generators Spill Kit Requirements

  • Absorbent material sufficient to have a rated capacity of one (1) gallon of liquid for every cubic foot of infectious medical waste that is normally managed in the area for which the kit is provided, or of ten (10) gallons, whichever is less.
  • One (1) gallon of hospital grade disinfectant in a sprayer capable of dispersing its charge in a mist or in a stream at a distance. The disinfectant shall be hospital-grade and effective against Tuberculosis/mycobacterium.
  • Enough red plastic bags to enclose one hundred and fifty percent (150%) of the maximum quantity stored or transported. The bags shall be three (3) mils thick or the equivalent and shall be accompanied by sealing tape or devices and labels or tags. These bags shall be large enough to enclose any box or other container normally used for infectious medical waste management by that facility or carried by a transport vehicle.
  • Two (2) new sets of: overalls, gloves, boots, caps, and devices to protect the eyes and respiratory tract, and tape for sealing wrists and ankles. The overalls, boots and caps shall be oversized or fitted to the infectious medical waste workers or transporters, and shall be made of materials impermeable to liquids. Boots may be of thick rubber and gloves shall be of heavy neoprene or equivalent material. Boots, gloves and breathing devices may be reused if disinfected between uses.
  • An adequate first aid kit, and one hundred yards of boundary marking tape.

Small Quantity Generators

Small Quantity Generators Spill Kit Requirements

  • 2 Red bags (compliant with Section 6.2.)
    1 Pair of gloves
    1 Face mask (surgical type or equivalent)
    1 Pair of goggles or equivalent eye protection
    1 Absorbent material capable of absorbing 1/2 gallon of liquid
    1 Spray can of disinfectant effective against Tuberculosis/mycobacterium

It is strongly recommended that these items be stored in a heavy container with a tight fitting lid (such as a plastic tote) which can be used to contain wastes generated after a spill clean up.
The inclusion of a disposable dust pan and broom are also highly recommended for sweeping up sharps.

Spill Cleanup Procedures

Immediately following a spill of infectious medical waste or its discovery, all individuals present shall leave the area until any aerosol settles.

The cleanup crew shall implement the following procedures for cleaning up a spill:

  • Put on cleanup outfits and secure the spill area from entry by unauthorized persons;
  • Spray all broken containers of infectious medical waste with disinfectant;
  • Place broken containers and spillage in the packing bags in the kit;
  • Clean up and disinfect the affected area;
  • Clean and disinfect non-disposable items and clothing;
  • Remove cleanup outfits and place disposable items in a red bag; and
  • Take prompt steps to initiate procedures for the replenishment of the spill kit.


When a spill involves a single container of infectious medical waste with a weight of less than fifty (50) lbs. and a volume of spilled liquid of less than one (1) quart, the individual responsible for the cleanup may elect to use dress and procedures other than those required by Section 7.1.d of this rule. 

Any proposed alternate procedures for small quantity spills shall be specified in the infectious medical waste management plan and shall provide protection to the health of workers and the public equivalent to that provided by the procedures specified in Section 7.2 of this rule.