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Pesticide Safety Education Program

Ohio State University Extension


Pesticide Spills

Pesticide & Fertilizer Spills

All spills, regardless of size, must be contained and cleaned up in a safe and effective manner. Spills that affect or threaten public health, welfare, or the environment will be attended to immediately by protecting human safety, and containing and cleaning up the spilled substance. To determine the proper response procedures, OSHA classifies discharges as either “incidental” or “emergency” depending on the following characteristics.

Ohio EPA's Spill Hotline:  800-282-9378

There is no one-size-fits-all answer as to whether a spill is an emergency or if it is incidental.

Pesticide Spill Kit 

Incidental Discharges

Emergency Discharges-Call 911

Spill Response Steps

  • Less than 25 gallons (if you are unsure of amount, reporting is encouraged)

  • Can be easily contained

  • Unlikely to reach storm sewer, sanitary drain or navigable waterway

  • Cleanup procedures do not pose a health or safety hazard

  • Proper response equipment is available for safe cleanup

Workers are not required to have a specified level or amount of training to clean up small, non-emergency spills – they just need to be able to recognize the hazards and be able to follow the prescribed plan that the facility has outlined to safely accomplish the task. 

  • More than 25 Gallons on or adjacent to public roadway

  • Cannot be contained and may spread beyond immediate area

  • May reach storm sewer, sanitary drain or navigable waters

  • Requires special equipment or training to clean up

  • Poses hazard to human health or the environment

  • There is a danger of fire or explosion

  1. Secure the site

  2. Follow safety handling procedures according to product label

  3. Stop the flow, shut off valves

  4. Call 911 for emergency discharges then notify your immediate supervisor

  5. Control & contain spill using absorbent material or soil

  6. Clean up spill and dispose of properly, or contact outside contractor

  7. Complete spill incident report if above reportable thresholds

Agricultural Spill Prevention & Management Guidelines

Ohio EPA Emergency Response Program Factsheet

OSU Employee Safety:  Petroleum, Fertilizer, and Pesticide Spill Response

Reporting of Hazardous Substances

Threshold Quantities for Hazardous Chemical Reporting