What's New

November Institutional Biosafety Committee Meeting

October 17, 2014

The next scheduled meeting of the Institutional Biosafety Committee (IBC) will be held on the third Wednesday of the month on November 19, 2014 from 10 am to noon, location to be determined.

Improved Researcher Training Look Up

October 10, 2014

Over the past several months, EH&S has been working with Office of Research Information Services (ORIS) on a new product for researchers and research administrators to view their research-related required training records. Now, instead of visiting several separate compliance unit sites, you just need to visit this new application. Future enhancements include team views and training expiration notification. ORIS is continuing development of the application to deliver these features. Access the system now to view your records and provide your feedback.

Researcher Training Transcript

Biosafety Stewardship

Recent lapses in biosafety practices at federal laboratories have prompted the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to urge grantees to participate in National Biosafety Stewardship Month this September. UW strongly encourages principal investigators (PIs) and laboratory directors to inventory biohazardous agents and reexamine lab policies and procedures that impact biological safety.

Other Health and Human Services agencies are joining the NIH in this effort, and the White House has issued a statement recommending a "safety stand-down" of federal departments and agencies.

You can help ensure biosafety stewardship with these steps:

  1. Inventory and document stocks and cultures stored in your lab.
  2. If biohazardous agents are not registered with Environmental Health & Safety (EH&S), update your Biological Use Authorization.
  3. If stocks or cultures are no longer needed, decontaminate and dispose of them properly.
  4. Make sure biosafety training is completed and current.
  5. Visit the EH&S Biosafety Stewardship webpage for more information.

For assistance, contact EH&S at 206.221.7770 or ehsbio@uw.edu.

September 19, 2014

The September edition of EH&S News is now available:

  • Join UW Efforts This Month to Ensure Biosafety Stewardship
  • Annual Asbestos General Awareness Training Is No Longer Required for Most UW Employees
  • Smoke-Free Campus Policy Expands to Include E-Cigarettes
  • UW Ergonomics Program Gets a Boost With New Ergonomist
  • Avoid Injuries by Checking Your Ladder
  • Focus on Fire Safety This Fall
  • UW Leads the Way in Improving the Efficiency of Emissions Calculations
  • Staff Spotlight: Emma Alder
  • Upcoming Events: Dawg Daze and Whole U Speaker Series

New DOT Class 6.2 and Class 9 labels

September 10, 2014

Starting October 1, 2014, you will no longer be able to use the old Class 6.2 and Class 9 shipping labels. New labels are available; they can be requested at hazmat@uw.edu.

More information is available at Shipping Hazardous Materials.

Annual Asbestos Awareness Training Is No Longer Required for Most UW Employees

July 28, 2014

This is to inform you of a change in a training requirement for University of Washington (UW) employees. As UW buildings can have asbestos-containing materials, all UW employees have been required to complete asbestos awareness training, both at the beginning of their employment and annually thereafter. Recently, the Washington State Department of Labor and Industries (L&I) provided an interpretation of their regulations that does not require most UW employees to complete asbestos awareness training every year. Asbestos awareness training is still a requirement for new employees, and the UW continues to proactively monitor buildings and renovation projects to prevent asbestos exposure.

The updated asbestos training requirements are as follows:

  • New UW employees are still required to complete asbestos awareness training at the beginning of their employment. The online asbestos general awareness training is available on the EH&S website and through the Human Resources New Employee Orientation webpage.
  • Most UW employees are no longer required to complete the asbestos awareness training every year.
  • Annual asbestos awareness training remains a requirement only for certain employees, such as maintenance and custodial workers, whose work may bring them into contact with asbestos containing materials, and thus require additional awareness training.
  • Additional specialized training is still required for employees who work directly with asbestos-containing materials.

The Environmental Health and Safety (EH&S) Department will continue to work with all departments to ensure they understand and meet environmental and occupational health and safety requirements for asbestos. All UW employees should continue to report damaged building materials or asbestos concerns to their supervisors or EH&S at (206) 543-0469 and follow instructions on caution and warning signs posted in buildings and around construction and renovation projects. Additional information about asbestos is available on the EH&S Asbestos webpage, and the EH&S newsletter provides updates on asbestos and other safety-related topics.

June Newsletter

June 20, 2014

The June edition of EH&S News is now available:

  • Lessons Learned: Lab Waste Spill Causes Building Evacuation
  • Repurposed Radioactive Sources Save Money and the Environment
  • When Do You Need a Respirator?
  • It's Almost West Nile Virus Season
  • EH&S Will Collect Your Hazardous Waste
  • Avoid Becoming a Picnic Basket Case
  • Staff Spotlight: Kevin Makinson
  • Events: Safety Stand Down Week

Board of EHS Meeting Minutes

May 13, 2014

The Board of Environmental Health and Safety shares publically the meeting minutes as they occur. The final minutes of January 29, 2014 (pdf) are now available online.

Past meetings notes are also available.

Print your own Safety Training Certificates

So you want a safety training certificate for the Asbestos class you took last week, well now you can print a copy for yourself! Simply follow the link to My EH&S Training, and you can print certificates for classes (with about one week delay) you have taken through Environmental Health and Safety. Enjoy!

UW Digital Security Certificate

A number of commonly used applications on the EH&S website, including but not limited to OARS Version 2 and the online General Asbestos Awareness Training, generate errors if your computer does not have the UW security certificate loaded. If, when attempting to access one of these applications, you get an error message indicating that the security certificate is invalid or unknown, then go to http://www.washington.edu/itconnect/security/securing-computer/install/ for instructions on how to update your computer's security certificate. This same certificate will also work for many other University applications.