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. 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. We recommend keeping an appropriate change of clothes and shoes in the lab so you are never without the right gear.
University personnel can submit a Chemical Waste Collection Request to recycle a mercury thermometer by swapping it for a safer alcohol-filled thermometer. This exchange eliminates the risk of a mercury thermometer breaking, which can result in a costly cleanup and expose you to mercury, a potent neurotoxin.
Follow these steps to when submitting your Chemical Waste Collection Request:
EH&S needs the information you provide in the Chemical Waste Collection Request for safety, legal, and logistical reasons.
Safety: Knowing the potential hazards associated with each container allows EH&S staff to prepare for safely evaluating, handling, transporting, and storing chemicals prior to disposal.
The December 2022 version of the UW Laboratory Safety Manual (LSM) is now available for download or printing. It's time to review, bookmark, or print a copy of the updated LSM and make it available for all staff and students in your lab. Keeping your safety documents up to date and easily accessible are key for staying safe.
Have you reviewed your full chemical inventory this year? Even if you have been adding to and deleting items from your inventory, you will still need to attest to a full review of the inventory by clicking the Review Inventory button at the top of the list.
Does your laboratory have volatile organic chemicals that produce strong, pungent odors even when the cap and bottle are intact? Controlling these smells, often found in chemical storage areas, will help reduce your risk of exposure.
Volatile organic chemicals can escape their containers, which presents an exposure risk to everyone in the lab. Restricting the ability for the chemical to disperse into the air can lower that risk.
Updated July 18. 2022
Keep in mind the facemask required for working in a lab is different than the facemask you may wear outside the lab.