Package Causes Serious Injury


Recent incidents on UW campus and lab-related accidents across the country underscore the need for UW employees to take required trainings and follow critical safety protocols.

In July, a UW employee was seriously injured while attempting to relieve pressure that built up in a container packed with dry ice shipped to UW by another research institution. As the employee loosened the lid the container exploded, leading to a permanent hand injury.

 An investigation found that the sender of the shipment did not properly package the research media on dry ice. The container did not have the necessary ventilation holes to ensure the dry ice could effectively off-gas during shipment, which caused pressure to build up within the container. The resulting injury was avoidable.

Quick Tips: When packaging and shipping materials on dry ice, always remember to select the proper container that will allow dry ice to off-gas effectively during shipment.

When receiving shipments, always inspect the package to ensure it has not been improperly packaged or damaged during travel. If a package is leaking or has a strong odor, contact EH&S for assistance at 206.543.0467.

If a package is bulging, evacuate the room and call 911. In the case of an emergency, serious injury or exposure, always contact 911.

Get Trained: Avoid putting yourself or others at risk by taking the EH&S course required for UW employees who ship non-dangerous material packed with dry ice. The online course “Shipping Dry Ice with Non-Dangerous Goods or Exempt Patient Specimens” takes only 15 minutes to complete and is available anytime on the EH&S website.