In this Edition
UW Safety, Sustainability, and Preparedness Expo
Did you join us February 10 at the UW Safety, Sustainability, and Preparedness Expo? This first-time event was a great success. Over 550 UW faculty, staff, and students joined us in the HUB Ballroom to learn more about safety, emergency preparedness, and sustainability resources and programs at the UW. Attendees also picked up items to start their own personal emergency kit.
If you were there, thank you for coming! We enjoyed our discussions with you. If you didn’t make it this time, stay tuned to this newsletter and the EH&S website next year for a possible return of this event.
Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) in Laboratories
The UW is a major research and teaching institution, and safety in our laboratories is very important to all of us. If you work in a lab, you can protect yourself and others from exposure to hazardous materials through the use of chemical fume hoods; safe work practices and training; and appropriate laboratory attire and personal protective equipment (PPE).
We recommend that all personnel wear lab coats, eye protection, and proper gloves when working in a lab. Appropriate PPE is required when there is a potential for exposure to hazardous materials such as hazardous chemicals and biohazards. Proper PPE and laboratory attire help minimize the potential for skin exposure to hazardous chemicals, biological agents, and other hazardous materials. Make sure your legs are covered and that you wear closed shoes. Additional PPE such as face masks or respirators may be needed for specialized tasks.
Because this is so important, you can expect to see EH&S employees wearing PPE when we visit laboratories. Look for our new EH&S lab coats the next time we visit your lab.
The EH&S website has more information on how to select the appropriate PPE for your research activities. We developed the Laboratory PPE Assessment Guide to help you select and document the appropriate PPE for various activities and hazardous materials. You can also use this guide to train lab personnel. This will help all of us ensure safety in our laboratories and also meet regulatory requirements. When PPE is required, we all have a responsibility to ensure it is worn and used properly.
For assistance with selecting or using PPE, contact an EH&S Occupational Health and Safety Specialist at 206-543-7388 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
2015 UW Work-Related Injury and Illness Summaries Now Online
The 2015 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.
The summaries are required to be posted from February 1, 2016 through April 30, 2016 in a location where employees can easily see them, such as on a department’s safety bulletin board or in a break room.
OSHA 300A summaries show the number and type of work-related recordable injuries and illnesses. Recordable injuries and illnesses are considered serious in nature and result when any of the following occur: death, days away from work, restricted work or transfer to another job, medical treatment beyond first aid, loss of consciousness, or a significant injury or illness diagnosed by a licensed health care professional.
The rate of recordable injuries and illnesses has decreased from 2014 to 2015 but is still higher than the rates seen in years 2012 and 2013. Overall, the injury and illness rate has decreased since 2005. This trend does not apply to all individual UW departments and is expected due to differences in the nature of job duties and reporting of injuries, among other factors.
All work-related injuries and illnesses must be reported on the UW Online Accident Reporting System (OARS) as soon as possible. OARS reports are reviewed by supervisors, EH&S, and UW Health and Safety Committees to determine appropriate follow-up and ways to help prevent similar events from happening again.
For questions about the OSHA 300A summaries or about work-related injuries and illnesses in general, contact the EH&S OARS Administrator at email@example.com or 206-543-7388.
Staff Spotlight: Rebecca Stenberg
Rebecca Stenberg is our new manager of occupational health programs. She joined EH&S in January 2016 and manages the Employee Health Center for our Campus Preventive Health group.
Stenberg earned her bachelor of nursing degree at the UW, then worked at the UW hospital, where she developed an interest in health and wellness and occupational health. This led to her completing a graduate program at the UW that was fairly new at the time: a master’s degree in occupational health nursing. This program focuses on safety, wellness, health, and prevention. She liked the emphasis on staying healthy at work to prevent injury, rather than treating injuries that have already occurred.
After graduation, Stenberg worked at the Department of Labor and Industries in Olympia, then at Hewlett Packard in Boise, Idaho, then for the Cancer Therapy & Research Center (CTRC) in San Antonio, Texas as the occupational health nurse. The CTRC later merged with the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio, and Becky stayed with UT in Environmental Health and Safety. When she saw the opening at the UW, it seemed like the perfect fit for her career experience and desire to come back to the Northwest.
Stenberg finds that her new position at the UW brings together all of her work experience and the opportunity to join a “very well run program.” Right now her typical work day involves meetings with UW partners to learn about all of the collaborative relationships with the Employee Health Center, and working on the transition with Suzanne Mason, who is retiring from this position.
A beautiful campus, much larger and with more modern buildings than when she was a student, continues to be one of Stenberg’s favorite things about the UW. She also appreciates the energy level of her colleagues. “Everyone is really sharp, and that stimulates me to learn more.”
Completing the transition by moving her husband, dog, and cat from Texas to Seattle is Stenberg’s goal, as well as spending time with her two adult sons, who live in Oregon and San Antonio. In her off time, she enjoys cycling and is looking forward to more moderate temperatures in the Northwest and local opportunities for snow skiing.
New Chemical Waste Management Video
Playing now on a computer screen near you: a new video for researchers about how to manage your chemical waste. EH&S collaborated with the Materials Science & Engineering Department to develop a short video about the UW’s chemical waste management process. Get all your common waste management questions answered and learn more about properly labeling, storing, and managing hazardous chemical waste. Download the short film here.
New EH&S Training Record Lookup
We have a new tool for looking up UW personnel’s EH&S training records. You can now use your UWNetID to view the training records for 1-30 personnel. To access this tool, go to our training website. You can manually fill out the top form or use the bottom form to upload a CSV (comma separated values) file.
Send comments and submissions to the newsletter editor, Wendy Secrist.