Happy Spooktacular October!
Updated Sharps Definition
Syringes without needles are no longer a "sharp". Follow the updated waste streams poster.
- Collect and package syringes without needles as laboratory glass/plastic, either biohazardous or non-hazardous depending on what materials they were used with.
- Certain plastic syringes have fine tips that could puncture a plastic bag; check the Sharps and Lab Glass webpage for detailed instructions on packaging lab glass and plastic.
- If you are using a syringe with a needle, do not remove the needle to dispose of the syringe separately. Always dispose of needles (including syringes with needles) in a sharps container promptly after use.
Segregating Hazardous Waste Streams
A fire in the Brotman Autoclave Room highlights the importance of segregating waste streams. An investigation identified that dimethyl sulfoxide (DMSO) was improperly disposed of into a pipette keeper box. During the autoclave process, it is suspected that the DMSO ignited and consumed the oxygen in the autoclave. When the autoclave was opened the following day, black smoke billowed out and the waste reignited from smoldering embers. The fire was extinguished by the technician.
- Flammable, reactive, oxidizer, corrosive, toxic, and radioactive wastes should not be disposed of with biohazard waste.
- If you have biohazard waste contaminated with other hazardous waste, contact for consultation.
- For more information, consult the Biohazardous Waste Guidelines page.
The Great Washington Shakeout 2019
October 17th at 10:17 a.m. is the time to drop, cover, and hold on as part of the annual earthquake drill. Learn how to better prepare from the Shake Out information page.
Washington state is a seismically active region. Being prepared and knowing what to do during an earthquake is vitally important. Each year more than 25 million people participate in Great ShakeOut Earthquake Drills worldwide, in K-12 schools, colleges, businesses, government agencies, other organizations, and households.
- DROP to the ground (before the earthquake drops you!),
- COVER your head and neck with your arms and seek additional shelter by getting under a sturdy desk or table if nearby; and
- HOLD ON to your shelter and be prepared to move with it until the shaking stops.
If there is no table or desk near you, drop to the ground and then if possible move to an inside corner of the room. Be in a crawling position to protect your vital organs and be ready to move if necessary, and cover your head and neck with your hands and arms. Do not move to another location or run outside. Earthquakes occur without any warning and may be so violent that you cannot run or crawl.
Be aware of any hazardous materials around you and the potential for exposure during an earthquake. If/when safe to do so, evacuate areas in which hazardous materials may have been released. If the building has been damaged, go outside and move away from other buildings, powerlines, and hazards. Be aware of aftershocks. Wait until the UW's Pre-Entry Assessment Team (PEAT) has cleared the building before re-entering.
Preventing Slips, Trips, and Falls
Slips, trips, and falls can occur in any work setting but are almost always preventable.
Preventing Slips and Trips
- Clean all spills immediately. Mark spills and wet areas with a 'Wet Floor' sign.
- Remove obstacles from walkways and keep areas free of clutter. Floors should not be used as storage space!
- Cover cables and cords that cross walkways.
- Keep working areas well lit. Don't work in the dark if the procedure does not require it.
- Notify the CERID Safety Team or fill out a work request through InfoCentre (requires an InfoCentre account) of damaged flooring that may present a hazard.
- Wear footwear suitable for the tasks that you typically encounter (and for the outside weather).
- When reaching for items on taller shelves, use a step ladder or step stool. Never stand on chairs or lab benches.
- When feasible, keep 3 points of contact on step ladders.
- If the item you are reaching for is heavy, consider breaking up the load. If not possible, recruit help from someone to hand the item to before descending the step ladder.
- If you cannot comfortably reach an item from where you've positioned the stool/ladder, move the stool/ladder rather than reaching across a distance.
- Use the handrail when using the stairs.
CERID Safety Team