Latest News

 
 
 

It’s time to manage safety

Myth: “There isn’t enough time to manage employee safety.”

The reality is that the clock is ticking … your time is valuable and you’re on deadline, but you don’t have time to not manage safety in your lab. PIs and Lab Managers who avoid taking the time up-front to implement safe work practices often spend valuable time managing lab safety after an incident occurs.

When it comes to lab safety, you don’t have time to not mitigate hazards.

 

New Chemical Hygiene Officer Lab Safety Award

Lab Safety Award logo

Labs that receive a rating of 85 or higher on their most recent lab safety survey earn a Lab Safety Award. The Chemical Hygiene Officers (CHOs) are assigned by Principal Investigators to support lab safety programs, and are often responsible for much of the effort required to maintain a strong culture of safety. EH&S now acknowledges this effort with an award certificate. 

 

Ladder safety at work and home

Injuries have occurred at the UW while personnel were using ladders on the job. These incidents show that using ladders can be dangerous if not used properly. Before you use a ladder at work or at home, make sure you take the necessary safety precautions.

What went wrong in the recent UW incidents?

  • A person fell off a ladder when overreaching.

  • Someone could not find a step ladder for a job, and instead used an orchard ladder (tripod type ladder), and fell to the ground when it tipped over.

 

Changes to radioactive waste disposal rates

The cost of disposing radioactive waste is recovered via a cost center at the UW. Fortunately, the rates for disposing most radioactive waste streams decreased this year due to switching to a waste processing facility with thermal treatment capabilities. The new waste processor charges by the pound for thermal treatment so the new rates are calculated based upon weight as opposed to volume as in the past.

What are the new waste disposal rates?

 
 
 

Chemical Waste Container Explosion – Lessons Learned

EH&S staff were notified of a chemical spill on August 2, 2017, during which a waste bottle ruptured in secondary containment bin, spilling about 3 liters of liquid. The lab was evacuated and a hazardous material team cleaned up the chemicals and shattered glass.

The ruptured 4 liter glass bottle was manufactured for chemical waste storage and disposal purposes, and reportedly contained a mixture of organic solvents. EH&S staff noted that the hazardous waste label was incomplete and the actual contents were unknown.