Latest News

 

Put our Lab R.A.T. to work on your risk assessment

Do you assess the risk in your lab work? It is important to conduct a risk assessment whenever a new experiment, procedure or project is developed in your lab. A risk assessment focuses on hazard identification at each step or task level, and can provide essential information for enhancing safety practices, establishing proper procedures, and ensuring all lab members are properly trained. EH&S’s new Lab R.A.T. (Laboratory Risk Assessment Tool) can be used to help with gathering the information you need.

 

New lab coat cleaning vendor

With the closure of Consolidated Laundry, the UW is moving to a new vendor for lab coat cleaning. UW Procurement Services is assisting with the transition to an alternate laundry provider (MediCleanse) for laboratories and academic spaces on campus.

Departments that relied on Consolidated Laundry for lab coat cleaning should complete an online survey to provide UW Procurement Services with details about the quantity, items and services needed.

 
 

Do you have Particularly Hazardous Substances in your chemical inventory?

Particularly Hazardous Substances (PHS) are chemicals that pose a high risk to employees in the workplace. Work with these substances requires specialized training from your PI or supervisor, and customized standard operating procedures (SOPs) that identify designated work areas, containment devices (such as fume hoods and glove boxes), procedures for decontamination, and prior approvals before work begins.

 
 

Bats at the UW

Although bats are a key part of our ecosystem, it is important to remember that a small proportion of bats in Washington state carry rabies, a deadly disease in the saliva of infected animals.

You may have noticed bats flying around campus. They are commonly seen flying at dusk, which is normal and not a cause for concern. However, if a bat is found on the ground or indoors, it may be an indication of something wrong with the bat.

 

Many older UW buildings are made of hazardous materials

Do-it-yourself repairs or projects that disturb walls, floor tiles, ceilings, fixtures and other building materials can expose you to substances that pose serious health risks.

University policy prohibits any “do-it-yourself” construction, renovation or modification of University buildings.  Even simple projects, such as hammering a nail into a wall, can expose you to hazardous chemicals and result in regulatory fines.

 

The trouble with UV light in your biosafety cabinet

Does your biological safety cabinet (BSC) have an ultraviolet (UV) lamp in it? If so, it may not be as effective for sterilization/decontamination purposes as you need it to be.

Ultraviolet radiation is a form of non-ionizing radiation, and biological effects from it vary with wavelength, photon energy, and duration of exposure. The 100-280 nm wavelength band is designated as UV-C, which is used for germicidal purposes.

The sterilization/decontamination activity of UV lights is limited by a number of factors, including:

 

Twelve days of safety for holiday decorating

The National Safety Council reminds us to take precautions while decorating for the holidays.

The 12 Steps of Safety include:

1. Never use lighted candles near trees or boughs.

2. Keep poisonous plants out of reach of children and pets.

3. Keep trees away from fireplaces, radiators and other heat sources.

4. Make sure your tree has a stable platform.

5. Choose an artificial tree that is lableled fire resistant.

6. If using a natural tree, make sure it is well watered.