Latest News


New School Year, New Focus on Lab Safety

With the launch of a new academic year, researchers are busy launching projects and guiding lab staff and students in ethics and protocols, including following safety regulations and guidelines. This is a good time for Principal investigators (PIs) to review safety protocols and verify that laboratory spaces are compliant with regulations and best practices for maintaining a safe work environment.


October Is National Biosafety Month

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) Office of Science Policy has announced the 3rd annual National Biosafety Month in October.

During National Biosafety Month, you are encouraged to focus attention on biosafety policies, practices and procedures. Investigators and laboratory managers should raise biosafety awareness, discuss the importance of safety, and seek input on ways to strengthen biosafety practices and procedures in their labs.


New Autoclave Safety Guidelines, Training, Tools and Resources

The EH&S General Autoclave Safety Focus Sheet contains new content, including general autoclave safety guidelines, autoclaving biohazardous waste guidelines, and step-by-step instructions for autoclave users. Get trained by watching an excellent autoclave training video, read up on potential hazards and monitoring requirements, and then use the provided tools and resources to operate your autoclave safely and compliantly.


Animal Researchers: Meet HoverBoard, UW's eIACUC Solution

The University of Washington Office of Animal Welfare, in partnership with the Office of Research Information Services, is launching the HoverBoard System. HoverBoard is an important initiative to upgrade to a streamlined, integrated environment for submitting and managing animal protocols. HoverBoard comes with a collaborative workflow and simplified management of IACUC processes, as well as facilitated review of biosafety concerns. HoverBoard will provide an end-to-end, web-based solution for investigators to create, subm


UW Fire Drill Procedures Change

Policy and procedure change is underway to assign EH&S the responsibility to plan, schedule, and help facilitate fire drills for most UW Seattle buildings. This change will reduce the administrative burden of building coordinators to plan the drill and relieves Seattle Facilities Services from the task of activating the alarm system. Formal policy change is anticipated to occur later this summer. The following links provide information to related materials, resources and tools that have just changed:


Nitric Acid Incident on Campus

Nitric acid is a highly-corrosive mineral acid and strong oxidizer used primarily for nitration of organic molecules. Nitric acid reacts violently with alcohols, alkalis, reducing agents, combustible materials, organic materials, metals, acids, cyanides, terpenes, charcoal, and acetone. Not only does it produce exothermic reactions but also toxic, corrosive, and flammable vapors. The violent, reactive nature of nitric acid has led to major incidents at research universities such as Tufts, Texas Tech, and, recently, here at the University of Washington.


3-D Printer Safety

3D printing, also known as additive manufacturing, is becoming more common to UW campuses in maker spaces, research labs and classrooms. New users may not realize that 3D printers, the materials they use, or their products and waste could present health or safety hazards. Contact with hot internal parts or hot plastic resin could result in burns or other hand injuries. Respiratory irritation can be caused by ultra-fine particles released during printing, or by particles released during sanding and grinding to finish the object. Dusts can be combustible and make floors slippery.