On December 9, 2019, EH&S hosted the Laboratory Safety Awards & Innovation Event to share new practices developed to enhance the culture of safety in UW research and teaching labs. Executive Director of Health Sciences Administration, Dave Anderson gave the opening speech, and Katia Harb, Senior Director of EH&S, gave the closing remarks. Research leaders presented innovations instated in their labs and departments to improve safety practices and safety training completion.
Home Safe 4 the Holidays video from UW DEOHS Continuing Education Programs
As the end of the year quickly approaches, we are often preoccupied with holiday planning, year-end deadlines and work commitments. As a result, many employers see an increase in workplace injuries just before and after the holiday season.
EH&S reminds the UW community to be mindful and maintain your focus on safety at all times, especially during the holiday season.
Be mindful while working.
Eliminate as many distractions as possible:
The University has over 950 active biosafety cabinets (BSCs), and about 150 have become obsolete due to safer design standards and the challenge of obtaining replacement parts. EH&S recommends replacing obsolete cabinets before they fail to minimize disruptions to research projects.
The following resources are available to assist with the purchase and replacement of BSCs:
New hazardous waste labels are available that are compliant with the new Hazardous Waste Generator Improvements Rule regulations. These new labels are larger but can be used alone without additional labels.
The new labels include the required larger typefaces and simplified options to indicate the primary hazard. The new hazard selection options include Flammable, Toxic, Corrosive and Reactive.
Seattle Fire Department’s (SFD) Fire Prevention Division launched a initiative in 2020 to avoid “false” or “preventable” alarms. For this reason, the City of Seattle is introducing citations of $373 or greater beginning January 1, 2020 for preventable alarms. As a result of this initiative, the availability of fire department resources to respond to true emergencies is expected to improve.
Preventable alarms include:
In June 2019, Washington State Department of Health (DOH) changed the regulations governing radiation machine facility fees. The changes impact the fees paid by the University for radiation producing devices on campus and may result in an increase in inspections.
The Department of Labor and Industries (L&I) updated the Washington Administrative Code (WAC 296-809) Safety Standards for Confined Space in 2018 and the UW Confined Space Program will change to reflect the code changes. Updated UW program materials are currently under stakeholder review and will be released early next year.
The University is implementing the Provost’s Task Force on Laboratory Safety’s recommendations to develop a more robust laboratory safety oversight and management program, particularly regarding chemical and physical hazards in research and teaching.
EH&S hosts the 2019 Laboratory Safety Awards & Innovations Event on Monday, December 9, at the HUB.
Researchers will present new tools and best practices they have invented and put into effect this past year to improve the culture of safety in their laboratory spaces. Awards will be given to labs and departments in recognition of their achievements in safety culture.
Gravitec Systems Inc. issued a product safety alert for MSA WORKMAN® MINI & V-EDGE™ WEB 8ft/2.4m PFLs equipment. The alert requests users of this equipment to perform an enhanced pre-use inspection to determine fall clearance, as it was discovered that some WORKMAN MINI PFL units have greater fall clearance than specified in instruction manuals.