Latest News


When to Go to the Employee Health Center

 Should you go to the Employee Health Center if you are sick or injured at work?

The answer is: No.

--If you are experiencing a life-threatening emergency, go to the nearest hospital emergency room.

--If you have an on-the-job injury, you should see your health care provider or a provider who treats workers’ compensation (L&I) injuries. You should also report the injury to your supervisor and complete an accident report within 24 hours.


Common Hazardous Waste Mistakes

EH&S staff had an opportunity to speak with compliance inspector Chad Fisher from the Washington State Department of Ecology regarding three of the most common hazardous waste violations he's encountered at the UW. As it turns out, the majority of these violations are easily preventable and making simple corrections contributes to a safer lab environment.


Gear Up for Summer Lab Work

Summer in Seattle means hiking, biking, kayaking and ... lab work! Yes, many of us spend gorgeous summer days working in the lab. While it's fine to wear shorts, skirts, sandals or flip flops outside, wearing these items in the lab can expose you to hazards. We recommend keeping an appropriate change of clothes and shoes in the lab. Proper lab attire ensures your skin is covered and protected. Even if you aren't working with hazardous materials that day, your coworker might be, so always dress to protect yourself.


Updated UW Lab Safety Manual

With the new quarter underway, researchers are developing their formulas for safety success!  Updates include additional resources to assess lab hazards, a link to a new lab safety responsibilities matrix, chemical storage, chemical shipments, training, sharps and other information.  A list of significant changes is highlighted in the log of changes.


Update on Mumps Outbreak on the UW Seattle Campus

Dear Members of the UW Community,

We have encouraging news about the mumps outbreak on the UW Seattle campus: The number of new cases has slowed considerably due in large measure to the diligence of our community members in following preventive measures. Since the first case in early February, we have had 38 mumps cases among people associated with the University, only six of which occurred in April.*


Are You at Risk for Chemical-Induced Hearing Loss?

Noise-induced hearing loss is permanent hearing impairment resulting from prolonged exposure to high levels of noise. While noise is a well-understood source of occupational illness, new studies are focusing on chemical-induced hearing loss (ototoxicity). This research seeks to determine if chemical substances alone, or noise and chemical co-exposure, contribute to occupational hearing loss. Given that many different types of workers are exposed to noise and chemicals at the UW, supervisors should keep this possible association in mind as part of their hazard communication to employees.


No Cardboard in Biological Labs

We often encounter cardboard when we visit biological labs. Unless you are using cardboard as part of your experiment, it doesn’t belong in a biological lab.

Cardboard and other porous materials cannot be decontaminated with a surface spray in the event of a splash, spatter or spill of biohazardous material. In the event of contamination, these items must be autoclaved.

Spring is the perfect time to organize, clean, and remove unnecessary and potentially hazardous clutter, such as cardboard.