University of California Santa Cruz Police Department
UC Santa Cruz PD Policy Manual



Hazardous Material Response


Hazardous materials present a potential harm to employees resulting from their exposure. To comply with Title 8, California Code of Regulations, § 5194, the following is to be the policy of this department.



A hazardous material is a substance which by its nature, containment and reactivity, has the capability of inflicting harm during exposure; characterized as being toxic, corrosive, flammable, reactive, an irritant or strong sensitizer and thereby posing a threat to health when improperly managed.



Employees may encounter situations involving suspected hazardous materials, such as at the scene of a traffic accident, chemical spill or fire. When employees come into contact with a suspected hazardous material, certain steps should be taken to protect themselves and citizens.

The following steps should be considered at any scene involving suspected hazardous materials:

 (a) Attempt to identify the type of hazardous (Identification can be determined by placard, driver's manifest or statements from the person transporting).

 (b) Notify the Fire Department.

 (c) Provide first-aid for injured parties if it can be done safely and without contamination.

 (d) Begin evacuation of the immediate area and surrounding areas, depending on the substance. Voluntary evacuation should be considered; however, depending on the substance, mandatory evacuation may be necessary.

 (e) Notify the local health authority. Such notification is mandatory when a spilled or released item is a pesticide (Health and Safety Code § 105215).

 (f) Notify the Department of Toxic Substances Control. This is mandatory when an officer comes in contact with, or is aware of, the presence of a suspected hazardous substance at a site where an illegal controlled substance is or was manufactured (Health and Safety § 25354.5).



Department personnel who believe that they have been exposed to a hazardous material shall immediately report the exposure to a supervisor. Each exposure shall be documented by the employee in an employee memorandum that shall be forwarded via chain of command to the Commanding Officer. Should the affected employee be unable to document the exposure for any reason, it shall be the responsibility of the notified supervisor to complete the memorandum. 

Injury or illness caused or believed to be caused from exposure to hazardous materials shall be reported the same as any other on-duty injury or illness in addition to a crime report or incident report.



When a supervisor has been informed that an employee has been exposed to a hazardous material, he/she shall ensure that immediate medical treatment is obtained and appropriate action is taken to lessen the exposure.

To ensure the safety of employees, safety equipment is available through supervisory personnel. Safety items not maintained by the Department will be obtained through the Fire Department.




Policy 412 PDF