This is a challenging time for many as we adjust to working under the constraints of the COVID-19 situation and plan for impacts outside of our control, some of which may impact research continuity.
On February 26, EH&S will be offering a webinar on lab safety and compliance for department staff who support researchers and principal investigators at the UW.
This training is designed for administrators, but it is open to all UW staff who do not work in a laboratory setting. The course provides background material on regulatory, policy and permit requirements, and addresses hazards and risk assessment in the laboratory to ensure lab safety and compliance.
In February 2020, all new biosafety and radiation safety laboratory inspections are available through the online Environmental Health and Safety Assistant (EHSA) portal.
After your next biosafety or radiation safety inspection:
Following the announcement of the Seattle Police Department’s preventable fire alarm initiative (that will result in fines for false alarms starting January 1, 2020), EH&S has fielded concerns about whether a fire alarm should be trigged when a fire is not present.
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.
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: