EH&S Safety News

What's Wrong With This?
Spot the problem in the picture below!
(Click on picture for answer)

Improper Acid Storage, image courtesy of Hal Merrill

unsafe job site, image, courtesy of Jay Sedivy

2013 UW Biosafety Manual Now Online!
by Katia Harb

The 2013 UW Biosafety Manual is now available online. The entire manual was updated to reflect changes in procedures and regulations. See the Biosafety Manual Web page for more information and to download the manual at

Laboratory Safety Surveys Promoting a Culture of Safety
by Mark Murray

EH&S has completed a process improvement effort and “leaned” its laboratory safety survey program to provide more assistance and to promote a culture of safety in teaching and research laboratories.  The following program changes were implemented in April, 2013:

  • Direct notification to the department chair, rather than administrator, of an upcoming survey
  • Standardized checklist to provide consistent assessment of some 80 safety items representing a variety of subject areas
  • Explanation links and self-help tools provided to identify ways to address safety issues

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Change to the Monthly Radioactive Contamination Survey Requirement
by Philip G. Campbell

A change has been made to the monthly lab survey requirement. Under the previous requirement, each laboratory space authorized for radioactive material use had to be surveyed each month even if there was no radioactive material use in that lab. With the new requirement, this is no longer the case.

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Aerosol Spray Cans
by John Wallace

Many products come in aerosol spray cans including cleaners, lubricants, coolants, paint, and starting fluids. These products are often considered hazardous materials due to their flammability or toxicity.

Use aerosol spray cans for their intended purpose only and, ideally, until empty.  When aerosol spray cans are empty, have no pressure and are devoid of container contents, they may be disposed of in the trash.

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Waste Treatment by Generator
by Mark Volkert

If you work in a laboratory on campus, chances are you’re already familiar with our chemical waste management guidelines. Most hazardous chemicals are managed as hazardous waste which means that you have to set up waste routines, submit collection requests, and wait for somebody from EH&S to come pick them up. There are, however, some chemicals that you may be able to treat in your lab to make them non-hazardous and dispose of them down the sink. A short list is right at the top of our Hazardous Waste Minimization page, under Treatment by Generator.

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Health Sciences Immunization Program (HSIP) Lean Initiative
by Colleen Pike

EH&S began using Lean in 2012 as an approach to build a shared culture and find ways to become more flexible, efficient, and customer focused.  This approach engages staff to identify and solve problems, involves the customer to define value, and develops measures to ensure success.    

In March of 2013, the Director of EH&S, Jude Van Buren, with support from Finance and Facilities, led the HSIP program staff and some of our school clients in a process improvement effort (Lean) to ensure the program meets the needs of our clients as well as streamlines processes to be more efficient and keep the program budget neutral.  Dave Anderson, the Executive Director of Health Sciences Administration served as the Executive Sponsor of this effort and is providing continuing oversight and support to the program in its improvement efforts.  Laura Ellis from the School of Medicine has agreed to serve as a client representative and provide initial input to define expectations for HSIP customer services.  

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Summer Laboratory Safety Update
by EH&S Research and Occupational Safety

no flip-flops The UW Laboratory Safety Manual  states the following: “In the laboratory, do not wear open-toed shoes, sandals, shorts, nylon hose, cropped tops, or any other apparel that leaves skin exposed and unprotected. All loose clothing should be confined to avoid easily catching fire, dipping into chemicals, or becoming entangled in moving machinery."

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UW Environmental Health and Safety © May 2013 | Edition 10

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