EH&S is thrilled that Denise Bender is leading our newly created Occupational Safety & Health section and overseeing programs to reduce the risk of injury from occupational hazards in non-research work areas on the UW Seattle campus.
The American Industrial Hygiene Association (AIHA) recently released the 3rd edition of The IAQ Investigator’s Guide with significant contributions from EH&S’s Occupational Health & Safety Specialist, Ellen Gunderson. IAQ or “indoor air quality,” is a term that refers to the air quality within buildings, especially as it relates to the health and comfort of building occupants. This practical guide is a tool to help industrial hygienists, building managers, safety professionals and others methodically investigate, identify and mitigate IAQ issues.
Every year, regulatory authorities publish updates and changes to regulations governing the transportation of hazardous materials. Take note of the changes in hazardous material shipping labels that go into effect on January 1, 2017.
One example of a small change that was made to a commonly-used label:
If you practice a few simple healthy habits during influenza (flu) season, you can help us avoid going home sick for the holidays.
Here are a few tips from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for reducing your exposure to illness:
Maker spaces, also known as fab labs and hacker spaces, are places to gather, exchange ideas, invent and create. These spaces are found in libraries, dormitories, academic and other workshops, both on and off campus, and they may contain some of the same hazards as other research or fabrication shops.
Recent incidents on UW campus and lab-related accidents across the country underscore the need for UW employees to take required trainings and follow critical safety protocols.
In July, a UW employee was seriously injured while attempting to relieve pressure that built up in a container packed with dry ice shipped to UW by another research institution. As the employee loosened the lid the container exploded, leading to a permanent hand injury.
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:
3D printing, also known as additive manufacturing, is becoming more common to UW campuses in maker spaces, research labs and classrooms. New users may not realize that 3D printers, the materials they use, or their products and waste could present health or safety hazards. Contact with hot internal parts or hot plastic resin could result in burns or other hand injuries. Respiratory irritation can be caused by ultra-fine particles released during printing, or by particles released during sanding and grinding to finish the object. Dusts can be combustible and make floors slippery.
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.