Biological Use Authorization (BUA) Inspections (~400 labs served)
When applying for a new BUA or the renewal of an existing one, a Biosafety Officer will inspect your laboratory to confirm to the Institutional Biosafety Committee that your laboratory and practices are in compliance with the bio-containment requirements for your research. Deficiencies must be corrected prior to Biological Use Authorization. When projects with biological agents are approved, they will receive an expiration date. Approvals will generally be given for a three year period or concurrent with Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC) protocol expiration.
Chemical Waste Collections (~1000 labs served)
EH&S has authority and responsibility for management of the collection, transport, temporary storage and disposal of regulated wastes, including the recycling of solvents, redistribution of unused chemicals and waste minimization techniques. EH&S has all responsibility for collection of hazardous waste for the University, all its campuses and off-site locations. While this service is not an inspection, EH&S technicians may give feedback to you on waste management practices while performing the collection.
EH&S conducts periodic fire and life safety inspections in over 250 buildings on the Seattle campus and at UW Bothell, South Lake Union, Sandpoint, UW research stations and other selected facilities. These inspections are scheduled with building coordinators or building management. Fire and life safety inspections evaluate public areas including hallways and stairwells, conference rooms, classrooms, storage areas and mechanical rooms to ensure compliance with the Seattle Fire Code and the Washington Industrial Safety and Health Act (WISHA). Frequency of these inspections varies from annually to every three years.
Laboratory Safety Inspections (~1000 labs served)
EH&S’s Laboratory Safety Team periodically conducts general lab safety inspections in lab spaces on main campuses, as well as labs located in offsite or leased buildings. These inspections are typically scheduled with PIs and lab managers in advance, take about 60 minutes to complete and occur about every 12-15 months. This survey is used to generate the lab safety performance rating.
Radiation Surveys (~500 labs served)
Radiation Safety staff will periodically inspect and survey labs with a Radiation Use Authorization according to Washington State Department of Health requirements. This is in addition to the monthly surveys you are required to conduct.
Safety Equipment Inspections (~1000 labs served)
EH&S performs periodic inspections of laboratory safety equipment (eyewashes, showers, biological safety cabinets and autoclaves) to verify the equipment has been inspected on the required schedule. The status of the inspections are provided to the department as a summary report to the chair and building coordinator/manager.
Shop Safety Inspections (~ 65 spaces served)
EH&S will perform a shop safety inspection periodically using a standardized checklist. The inspection requires the participation of the shop safety coordinator and will typically take less than one hour. Approximately 35 shops are associated with academic research at UW, and some are connected to laboratories.
Embryonic Stem Cell Research Oversight (ESCRO) Inspection
The UW’s ESCRO Committee exists to review and approve research involving human embryonic stem cells (hESC). The ESCRO Committee review ensures that both institutional and public concerns regarding sensitive ethical, legal, scientific and policy issues unique to hESC research are addressed. An annual inspection is a vehicle that the ESCRO office will use to collect real-time information from PIs regarding hESC lines for administrative purposes only. The ESCRO Compliance Analyst will email annual surveys to PIs.
Human Subjects Division Reviews
Research that involves the use of human subjects (either directly or through records or other data, such as specimens or autopsy materials), requires human subjects review prior to beginning such a project. The Human Subjects Division (HSD) is responsible for the administration of Institutional Review Board (IRB) activities and oversight of human research protections activities such as educational programs and post-approval monitoring. Frequency of site visits depends on the nature of the research project.
Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee Inspections
The Office of Animal Welfare (OAW) facilitates the IACUC review of research protocols and grants involving live vertebrate animals. In addition, the OAW provides oversight and compliance on behalf of the IACUC in accordance with applicable laws, policies and regulations. The IACUC is required to perform an inspection of all sites where animals are housed or used every six months. These inspections are typically scheduled with PIs and lab managers two months in advance of the visit.
Department of Ecology Inspections
Washington’s principal environmental protection agency conducts periodic inspections of University buildings and facilities to check compliance with state and federal environmental laws and rules aimed at protecting the environment. Department of Ecology (Ecology) visits, where possible, should be accompanied by persons responsible for the facility or work space, such as a building coordinator or lab supervisor. For the Seattle campus, EH&S acts as the liaison between the UW and Ecology, and notification of inspection will be received in advance. These inspections are associated with permit issuance and revision, as well as compliance.
Seattle Fire Department Inspections
Local fire departments may perform periodic inspections of University buildings. These inspections are performed under the authority of the International Fire Code and may be unannounced. Fire department visits, where possible, should be accompanied by persons responsible for the facility, such as a building coordinator. For the Seattle campus, the Seattle Fire Department (SFD) conducts these inspections. EH&S acts as the liaison between the UW and SFD. If notified and available, EH&S may also accompany SFD during their visit and can act as a representative for the responsible person, if the responsible person is not available. These inspections are associated with permit issuance and revision.
Washington State Department of Health
Washington State Department of Health conducts inspections of research and teaching spaces that use radioactive materials under authority of a Radiation Use Authorization.
Washington State Labor and Industries (L&I)
Washington State L&I has authority to conduct workplace safety inspections under the Washington Industrial Safety and Health Act of 1973 (Chapter 49.17 RCW).