Introduction to Research Safety

Welcome to the research community at the University of Washington!

The Environmental Health & Safety Department (EH&S) developed this information to introduce you to the some of the important elements required for safety practices and safety compliance in your research space.

Please review the materials below and and complete all of the items on the Essential To Do List.

Safety and compliance information for new PIs

New PIs (and PIs who are new to the University) should review the following information:

UW Laboratories Safety Responsibility Matrix

Understand your role and the roles of others (director, dean, chair, investigator, lab manager, safety professional, administrator and student) in the lab.

EH&S Guide for Principal Investigators

Read about your safety responsibilities as a PI and the resources available to help you conduct your research safely.

EH&S Training Matrix

Determine the required and recommended safety trainings for you and your lab staff and ensure they are completed and documented. Enrollment is through the EH&S Training page.

UW Laboratory-Specific Information Form

Record the responsible parties and room locations of your lab(s). This serves as a checklist of lab-specific information for inclusion in your chemical hygiene plan.

Laboratory Safety Checklist

Review the checklist and compliance expectations. Use this list to conduct self-inspections and for preparation prior to a scheduled assessment by the EH&S Lab Safety Team.

SOP Required Elements

Ensure the minimum safety elements are included in the standard operating procedures (SOPs) for your chemicals. Templates available on EH&S' Chemical SOPs page.

Essential to-do list

1. Get a copy of the UW Laboratory Safety Manual. Make it accessible in all of your laboratory spaces.

2. Complete or enroll in the following training courses:

3. Determine, complete and document all relevant EH&S safety training.

4. Determine and document work policies specifically for your laboratory spaces.

5. Create a MyChem account and enter the chemicals in your chemical inventories.

6. Print caution signs for all entrances to your laboratory spaces (after completing MyChem inventories). Contact for assistance.

7. Ensure that you have SOPs for all of your current chemicals and hazardous equipment.

8. Create and post floorplans in all of your laboratory spaces and multiroom spaces (see the UW Laboratory Safety Manual for guidance).

9. Ensure that a first aid kit is available and fully stocked in all of your laboratory spaces.

10. Submit a Biological Use Authorization form if you will be working with biological hazards. Contact for assistance.

11. Submit a Radiation Use Authorization form and/or register equipment if you will be working with radiological materials or lasers. Contact for assistance.

Additional resources

Need assistance?

Please contact the Lab Safety Team at for assistance.