Preparing for a Hazardous Waste Inspection


Your workspace should always be ready for an inspection. The most important thing you can do to be prepared for an inspection is to keep your lab, shop, clinic, or other workspace clean, organized, and up to University of Washington standards. 

The most common violations found during hazardous waste inspections are open containers and incomplete labels. Please make sure that waste containers remain closed at all times unless you're actively adding waste to that container. All waste containers must have a UW Hazardous Waste label as soon as they contain any waste. Please make sure to fill out the label completely and check the boxes for the appropriate hazards. You may check more than one.

During your inspection, you may be asked to show training records for your staff. You should keep training records on file in a convenient location so you can refer to them easily if asked. If you or your staff have attended courses offered through EH&S, you can access those records at MY EH&S Training. You will need your employees' UW NetIDs to pull up their training records. Contact the EH&S Training Office at if you need help.

You may also be asked to provide Safety Data Sheets (SDSs or MSDSs) for chemicals in your workspace. If you don't keep paper copies on-hand, you can refer to the electronic copies stored on the MyChem database. Be sure that your MyChem inventory is up-to-date, and that you know how to access the MSDS/SDSs. Contact the MyChem administrator if you need help at

If you need to review hazardous waste management guidelines, please visit the EH&S webpage on Hazardous Chemical Waste or Section 3 of the UW Lab Safety Manual