Dealing with Spillages (MUH policy Dec 2003)


Spillage must be dealt with as quickly as possible and each staff member who discovers spillage is obliged to take responsibility/follow the guidelines.

  • Depending on the nature of the spillage these guidelines vary, but, the common denominator is the immediate placing of warning cones on either side of the spillage (or somebody to guard the area until these cones have been placed).
  • The cones should be left at the site until the area is completely dry/safe.
  • Cones are available in the cleaning stores on all departments and at reception for spillages in the public areas - hall, stairwells, back offices, corridors etc.
  • Noonan Cleaning Services Ltd. are available on Bleep 6690 (Monday - Friday 9am - 8pm, Saturday & Sunday 9am- 11am).
  • Management of blood and body fluid spillages is available on the Intranet (infection control manual) at H:\Infection Control\POLICY MANUAL ALL IC POLICIES\20(f) IC Management of blood and body fluid spillages.doc.

Spillages of water, milk, tea etc.

  • These may be dealt with by any member of staff
  • Ensure the safety of patients/staff/visitors at all times.
  • Depending on the area/size of the spillage etc. it may be necessary to cordon off the area or in a ward setting request patients to move away from the site.
  • Wipe up the spillage immediately using water and detergent and dry.
  • If cones are in place do not remove until the area is completely dry.

Blood/Body Substance Spillage (with the exception of urine)

Blood / body fluids

  • Blood/ Body fluid spillage should be dealt with immediately.
  • Cordon off the area –placing the cones to the back and front of the spillage.
  • Procedures to be carried out by Nursing staff to renders the spill harmless to facilitate the Contract Cleaners/ Care Attendants/ other for final cleaning.
  • Wearing disposable gloves - spread hypochlorite granules i.e. – Presept over the spillage.
  • Cover the area with disposable towels and leave for a few minutes.
  • Final Cleaning

Spillage of Urine

Under the REACh regulations the MUH is required to compile inventories of chemical substances used throughout the organisation.

Inventories of chemical substances must include the:

  • Name/description of all substances
  • Details of the supplier
  • Details of what the substance is used for

DCM Compliance, have an on-line registry of substances used in each department. Material Safety Data Sheets for the chemicals, as listed in the various inventories, are now available at

Access to from MUH computers is free to all users (leave User and Password fields blank and click on "submit"). Those outside MUH will need a registered Username and Password.

  • Acidic solutions such as urine may react with hypochlorite, as in Presept /Milton etc. and cause release of chlorine vapour.
  • Put on disposable gloves, apron.
  • Soak up spill with disposable towels.
  • Discard into a yellow bag.
  • Wash the area with detergent and water.
  • Milton may be used afterwards.

Mercury Spillage

  • Cordon off the area as already described.
  • Contact the Reception Desk (5201) and arrange for the Reception porter to deal with the spillage.
  • A special kit is available at reception and the reception porters have been trained accordingly. This applies to both day/night spillages.

There are Local Guidelines relevant to specific areas

In the event of discovering spillage in i.e. any of the under mentioned please contact the relevant departments (who themselves will deal with the matter).

  • X-ray Dept- Radio Active Spillage
  • Laboratories- Chemical Spillage
  • Oncology- Urine spillage post Radiotherapy etc.
  • Maintenance Dept. – Chemical Spillage etc.

Further Information