Hazardous Materials

New York Institute of Technology and its environmental health and safety services are committed to full compliance with all relevant Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) laws and regulations. NYIT's Office of Environmental Health and Safety has been charged with responsibility of mitigating by containment and/or control any hazardous substance accidentally released into the campus or living environment that endangers individuals. Individuals who handle hazardous materials do so under supervision of NYIT staff and/or faculty with a prior evaluation of procedures having been made by the Office of Environmental Health and Safety.

Hazardous chemicals/materials/biohazards consist of, but are not limited to, chemical spills, toxic fumes, oil-based materials, solvents, acids, bases, gases, caustic solutions, carcinogens, sensitizers, hepatoxins(liver), nephrotoxins (kidneys), neurotoxins (CNS), hematopoietic toxins (blood), reproductive toxins (mutagens, teratogens), and radioactive materials. OSHA defines hazardous chemicals/biohazards as a chemical for which there is statistically significant evidence based on at least one study, conducted in accordance with established scientific principals that acute or chronic health effects may occur in exposed individuals.

There are three classifications of hazardous materials incidents that require HazMat (hazardous materials) response:

  1. Major (Level I) – A HazMat incident that involves a severe hazard or extremely large area and that will require expert assistance from specialized agencies, including those of the village, county, and state level and possibly support groups from the private sector. Such an incident may result in prolonged evacuation or where members of the campus community are injured or exposed.
  2. Complex Incident (Level II) – A HazMat incident involving a lesser hazard or a smaller area and requiring smaller evacuation area.
  3. Minor (Level III) – A HazMat incident that can be controlled by responding units and does not require evacuation other than that of the involved building or room. The incident is confined to a small area and the hazard is minor.

Classification can be escalated or de-escalated at any time by the incident commander dependent upon conditions encountered as an operation progresses.

Primary Response Team

  • NYIT campuses: Office of Campus Security; Long Island residences: University police; New York City residences: 911
  • Local law enforcement and emergency responders
  • Director of Environmental Health and Safety
  • Director of facilities or designee
  • New York College of Osteopathic Medicine of NYIT (notification)
  • Office of Housing and Residential Life staff
  • Office of the Dean of Students staff/ coordinator of campus operations and student services staff

Secondary Response Team

  • Office of Strategic Communications and External Affairs
  • Office of Human Resources
  • Office of the President
  • Office of the Vice President for Student Affairs
  • Office of the Vice President for Academic Affairs

To develop and implement a health and environmental safety plan of action in the event of a hazardous material incident resulting in potential physical injuries, evacuation of facilities, property loss, and provision of essential services. To respond in a manner that best protects the community and does not adversely affect or disturb the normal operation of NYIT. Quick and aggressive action at a hazardous material incident site requires deliberate action after identifying the material and substance involved in order to decrease exposure to members of the community.

Follow the established chain of primary responders. If the situation has caused loss of life or lives are threatened, immediately call 911. The Office of Campus Security will be the first NYIT responders in all emergency events and should be notified immediately. If campus security decides to evacuate a building, campus security and/or the emergency evacuation wardens will act to secure building occupants.


For community members:

  • If the situation has caused loss of life or lives are threatened, immediately call 911.
  • Call the Office of Campus Security/local law enforcement:
    • Long Island: 516.686.7789
    • New York City: 646.273.7789
    • Central Islip: 631.348.7789
    • Long Island residences: 516.876.3333
    • New York City residences: 911
  • Follow instructions. If told to evacuate, follow the Building Evacuation Policy.

For primary responders:

  • Respond to scene; initiate emergency response phone chain by calling the director of facilities operations.
  • Call 911 for emergency medical services for exposed individuals.
  • State that you have a hazardous materials incident.
  • Cooperate with, aid, and assist the primary investigation agency according to procedures governed by federal, state, and local law.
  • Assess the incident and any exposure of individuals to determine actions. (Individuals who may be injured or have come into contact with a hazardous material must receive immediate and appropriate medical attention if warranted.)
  • Once notification has been given, operations shall be carried out with a minimum number of individuals necessary. All others shall be evacuated to a staging area a sufficient distance from the incident by campus security staff.
  • Spend an appropriate amount of time properly researching information as to the chemical/substance and developing the proper strategy to respond to the situation.
  • Upon assessment and identification of HazMat materials, take appropriate steps to clean-up the site through use of campus personnel or off-site special units called in for response.
  • Immediately communicate with students, faculty, and staff in the area, and direct individuals to evacuate to a safe area if necessary. Follow Building or Campus Evacuation policies.
  • Meet with secondary responders and after-care units.


  • Activate campus recovery procedures as outlined by the Offices of Facilities and Campus Security with external ancillary service support.
  • Engage the services of the Counseling and Wellness Center staff and campus medical staff in the event of exposure, trauma, or injuries to members of the campus community.
  • Communicate all appropriate information accurately regarding the incident to the Office of Strategic Communications and External Affairs and the Office of the President.
  • Assemble meetings, as well as information and training seminars for the campus specifically geared to inform and educate students, faculty, and staff on hazardous materials incidents and procedures.
  • Document incident according to established procedures.