The 2019 Biosafety Manual is now online

The 2019 edition of the UW Biosafety Manual is here! The most significant changes include:

  • Centrifuging biohazards information clarified
  • Biohazardous waste section reorganized
  • Approved autoclave chemical integrators included
  • Sharps safety information added
  • Risk assessment and routes of exposure updated
  • PI definition from IBC charter added
  • New biosafety cabinet type added

A list of changes is included in the log of changes.

 
 

Do you have Particularly Hazardous Substances in your chemical inventory?

Particularly Hazardous Substances (PHS) are chemicals that pose a high risk to employees in the workplace. Work with these substances requires specialized training from your PI or supervisor, and customized standard operating procedures (SOPs) that identify designated work areas, containment devices (such as fume hoods and glove boxes), procedures for decontamination, and prior approvals before work begins.

 
 

Set your sights on safety: Select the correct PPE for eye hazards

PPE is the last line of defense against hazards that are part of your work in a laboratory or research space. Most eye injuries that occur in the lab are due to lack of proper personal protective equipment (PPE).

You should always evaluate your workplace for potential eye hazards so you can select the appropriate safety equipment. Eyeglasses are never a substitute for safety glasses or safety googles. There are plenty of eye protection options that fit well over your eyeglasses.

Safety glasses versus safety goggles

Emergency Washing Equipment

 

Emergency washing equipment (EWE) is provided in UW facilities for the purpose of rinsing chemicals or other harmful agents from the eyes or skin. It is an important safety tool that can prevent or limit damage to the body from exposure to harmful agents. Examples include:

Eye wash

Eye washes are required in areas where any of the following agents are used: corrosives; strong irritants; or toxic chemicals of concern. An eyewash is also required in a BSL-2 or BSL-3 laboratory, regardless of whether the above agents are used.

 

The trouble with UV light in your biosafety cabinet

Does your biological safety cabinet (BSC) have an ultraviolet (UV) lamp in it? If so, it may not be as effective for sterilization/decontamination purposes as you need it to be.

Ultraviolet radiation is a form of non-ionizing radiation, and biological effects from it vary with wavelength, photon energy, and duration of exposure. The 100-280 nm wavelength band is designated as UV-C, which is used for germicidal purposes.

The sterilization/decontamination activity of UV lights is limited by a number of factors, including: