Dear Members of the UW Community,
We have encouraging news about the mumps outbreak on the UW Seattle campus: The number of new cases has slowed considerably due in large measure to the diligence of our community members in following preventive measures. Since the first case in early February, we have had 38 mumps cases among people associated with the University, only six of which occurred in April.*
The UW provides a safe and healthy environment for faculty, staff, students and visitors through maintaining a no smoking policy (WAC 478-136-035). Although research has clearly indicated that smoking damages the human body, there are still some 37.8 million adults that continue to smoke in the United States (CDC).
Noise-induced hearing loss is permanent hearing impairment resulting from prolonged exposure to high levels of noise. While noise is a well-understood source of occupational illness, new studies are focusing on chemical-induced hearing loss (ototoxicity). This research seeks to determine if chemical substances alone, or noise and chemical co-exposure, contribute to occupational hearing loss. Given that many different types of workers are exposed to noise and chemicals at the UW, supervisors should keep this possible association in mind as part of their hazard communication to employees.
The 2016 Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) 300A summaries of work-related injuries and illnesses are now posted on the EH&S website, along with summaries for previous years.
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.