With the launch of a new academic year, researchers are busy launching projects and guiding lab staff and students in ethics and protocols, including following safety regulations and guidelines. This is a good time for Principal investigators (PIs) to review safety protocols and verify that laboratory spaces are compliant with regulations and best practices for maintaining a safe work environment.
What would you do if someone near you has sudden cardiac arrest? Rapid treatment with a defibrillator can be lifesaving. A defibrillator is a device that sends an electric shock to the heart to try to restore its normal rhythm. Automated external defibrillators (AEDs) can be used by bystanders to save the lives of people who are having sudden cardiac arrest.
The National Institutes of Health (NIH) Office of Science Policy has announced the 3rd annual National Biosafety Month in October 2016.
During National Biosafety Month, you are encouraged to focus attention on biosafety policies, practices and procedures. Investigators and laboratory managers should raise biosafety awareness, discuss the importance of safety, and seek input on ways to strengthen biosafety practices and procedures in their labs.
A new administrative policy statement on Managing Asbestos and Other Regulated Building Materials (APS12.1) was adopted by the UW. While the majority of the policy and procedures apply to facilities services departments and other service units, some procedures apply to all departments, including the following:
Policy and procedure change is underway to assign EH&S the responsibility to plan, schedule, and help facilitate fire drills for most UW Seattle buildings. This change will reduce the administrative burden of building coordinators to plan the drill and relieves UW Facilities from the task of activating the alarm system on the UW Seattle campus. Formal policy change is anticipated to occur later this summer. The following links provide information to related materials, resources and tools that have just changed:
Nitric acid is a highly-corrosive mineral acid and strong oxidizer used primarily for nitration of organic molecules. Nitric acid reacts violently with alcohols, alkalis, reducing agents, combustible materials, organic materials, metals, acids, cyanides, terpenes, charcoal, and acetone. Not only does it produce exothermic reactions but also toxic, corrosive, and flammable vapors. The violent, reactive nature of nitric acid has led to major incidents at research universities such as Tufts, Texas Tech, and, recently, here at the University of Washington.
Is your group planning a party, departmental graduation ceremony or other event at UW? Your outdoor event may require a permit from the Seattle Fire Department (SFD) if any of the following apply:
Part of keeping your laboratory safe is ensuring it is prepared for an earthquake or other natural disaster. Here are some best practices for protecting yourself and others in this potential scenario.
Protect Your Exit Way
Tall or heavy equipment near your laboratory exit could tip over and block it during an earthquake, so take action now to prevent this:
Health & Safety Committees provide valuable contributions to the UW’s total workplace safety program. Ten committees represent all UW employees, and the new two-year term for these committees began January 1, 2016.
Representatives from these committees make up the University-Wide (U-Wide) Health and Safety Committee, which also began its new two-year term at the start of the year. The U-Wide committee has two representatives from each of the ten organizational committees, a representative from the Faculty Senate, union representation, and other ex-officio members.
Lithium batteries are in many items, from electronic cigarettes to motor vehicles. Most of the devices are perfectly safe. However, there have been a few issues arising from items containing these batteries. The UW Bothell campus recently had a hover board fire, and there was a fire on the Seattle campus because of a battery-powered vacuum cleaner.