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.
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.
Human source materials, including human cell lines, blood, tissues and other potentially infectious materials (OPIM) are commonly used biohazards in UW research labs. Potentially infectious human materials can contain bloodborne pathogens (BBP) such as human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and hepatitis B and C viruses.
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.
This guide is an introduction to Environmental Health & Safety for principal investigators (PIs) who are new to the University of Washington and is a reference tool for any principal investigator. It outlines your health and safety responsibilities as a PI and provides links to related resources. It lists related requirements for grant proposals, purchases and similar actions and outlines how to plan for emergencies and disasters.