Environmental Health & Safety

Environmental Health and Safety (EH&S) is responsible for supporting a culture of health and safety across the University of Washington Bothell and Cascadia College co-located campus by assisting organizational units in meeting their responsibility to protect the environment and to provide a safe and healthful place for faculty, staff, students, visitors and volunteers.

EH&S is here to help support you, whether it be unsafe working conditions, personal protective equipment needs, hazard identification, accident prevention plan development, workplace ergonomic evaluations, injury reporting and follow-up, and much more. Please don’t hesitate to reach out!

Read more about EH&S support across the University of Washington system.

All employees are required to report any work-related injury, illness, near-miss, or hazardous material exposure to supervisors as soon as possible and to EH&S via the University of Washington OARS (Online Accident Reporting System) within 24 hours.

Reporting incidents help prevent future accidents on campus and allows EH&S to ensure that follow-up actions are taken for medical care and safety resolution. Reports submitted cannot be made anonymously.

The University’s APP (Accident Prevention Plan) covers the anticipated occupational hazards that generally apply to employees across the University. It outlines policies and procedures implemented to reduce or eliminate these hazards.

Employees include staff, faculty, students, and volunteers in paid permanent, part-time, or seasonal positions. The APP applies to all schools, departments, and organizations within the University and will be revised with appendices for the UW Bothell campus alone.

The UW Bloodborne Pathogens (BPP) Program is to protect University personnel from exposure to human blood and other potentially infectious materials (OPIM). The program requirements apply to all personnel with a reasonably anticipated exposure to human blood, tissues, cell lines and other pathogenic agents that are present in human blood, including personnel assigned to provide emergency first aid. Personnel in the program follow procedures in their site-specific Exposure Control Plan, complete initial and annual training, and are offer the Hepatitis B vaccine.

UW personnel who work in the following departments (list is not exhaustive) with exposure potential should be enrolled in the BBP Program, have site-specific Exposure Control Plans, and be trained in bloodborne pathogens. Talk with your supervisor and EH&S to determine your exposure potential.

  • Activities & Recreation Center | Outdoors Wellness
  • Campus Safety
  • Custodial Operations
  • School of Nursing & Health Studies
  • School of STEM

More information can be found on the UW Bloodborne Pathogens webpage.

Ergonomics is the practice of fitting the job to the individual, which can help prevent work-related musculoskeletal injuries. Risk factors for the development of ergonomic injuries include awkward and static postures, repetitive tasks, vibration, contact stress, and environmental factors such as exposure to heat or cold.

A variety of ergonomic training is available through the Washington State Department of Labor & Industries: Ergonomics Training & Tips (wa.gov)

In-person ergonomic evaluations are available by contacting uwbehs@uw.edu.

EH&S oversees the food-related activities at UW Bothell through the UW Food Safety Program. This includes permanent food establishments and temporary food service events.

Permanent food establishments are issued permits and are regularly inspected to ensure they maintain the standards of safe food handling and cleanliness.

Temporary food service events are required to have their organizers be responsible for ensuring their food vendors are aware of UW requirements. UW students and employees hosting or sponsoring an event at a UW Bothell location where food will be served, sold, or given away, may need to apply for a Temporary Food Service Permit from UW EH&S.

A Temporary Food Service Permit is required for food service if it meets ANY of the following:

  • The event is sponsored by a UW department or group, including registered student organizations; or
  • The event is open to the public or UW campus community; or
  • Event information was advertised in public media (e.g., posters, flyers, social media) or wider campus communications (e.g., email, word of mouth); or
  • The event is sponsored by a non-UW group and UW campus community members are invited to attend.

A Temporary Food Service Permit is not required if any of the following exceptions are true:

  • The event is not held on UW property.
  • The ONLY food served will be non-perishable, commercially prepackaged, ready-to-eat foods (e.g., prepackaged chips, candy, individually packaged baked goods, bottled or canned beverages) from a licensed and permitted food establishment or food processing plant.
  • The ONLY food served will be individually prepackaged frozen confections (e.g., ice cream cones or popsicles in their original packaging) from a licensed food business or food processing plant.
  • The ONLY food service is provided by food establishments with current EH&S-issued operating permits (e.g., UW Bothell Dining).
  • The event is limited to members of a small (50 people or less), closed campus community group (e.g., a class, a lab group, a RSO).
  • The event is invitation only and private (hosted and attended by a non-UW group).

University units, departments, registered student organizations, and sponsored non-UW groups are not allowed to give away or sell food prepared or stored at home (or in a kitchen that has not been approved by EH&S or a local county health jurisdiction) at a temporary food establishment.

More information about the UW Food Safety Program, including food safety guidelines, Temporary Food Service Permit applications, and additional FAQs can be found on the UW Food Safety Program webpage.

The University of Washington has ten organization Health & Safety Committees (HSC) to actively engage employees in efforts to reduce illnesses and injuries in the workplace. UW Bothell is HSC Group 7 with sponsorship from the Vice Chancellor of Planning and Administration.

Each member of the HSCs serves a two-year term based on calendar year and is a source of health & safety information for both their colleagues and units. All employees are welcome to serve!

The UW Hearing Loss Prevention Program applies to all organization units to minimize the risk of noise-induces hearing loss to employees, researchers, students, and visitors.

Responsibilities of Department Administrators, Managers, and Supervisors:

  • Identify areas of excessive noise and affected employees. Refer to the CDC webpage for Commons Sources of Noise and Decibel Levels.
  • Contacting EH&S to coordinate noise level assessments and monitoring.
  • Enroll employees exposed to noise levels at or above 85 dBA averaged over an 8-hour work shift are enrolled in the UW Hearing Loss Prevention Program, receive training and medical surveillance. This includes providing employees with a baseline and annual audiometric exams through EH&S.
  • Implement engineering and/or administrative controls for employees exposed to noise above 90 dBA averaged over the work shift.
  • Provide at least two types of hearing protective devices if controls cannot be implemented and ensure that employees are wearing them correctly.
  • Post caution signs where noise may exceed 85 dBA averaged over an 8-hour work shift and post danger signs where noise may exceed 115 dBA (even intermittently).

If you feel that you are being exposed to loud noise, contact your supervisor regarding the Hearing Loss Prevention Program. EH&S is available to provide consultation, noise assessments, annual audiometric testing, and PPE recommendations: uwbehs@uw.edu.

Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) controls hazards that cannot be eliminated through engineering and administrative controls*. PPE includes all clothing and accessories designed to protect against safety and health hazards.

At UW Bothell, an appropriate level of PPE must be worn at all times when hazardous material or equipment is used in a workplace. The minimum attire required at all times for laboratory and shop spaces is full-length pants (or equivalent) and closed toe/heel shoes.

EH&S is available to provide assistance completing hazard assessments, advice on specific PPE, identify engineering and administrative controls, and respiratory fit testing: uwbehs@uw.edu.

*Engineering controls are used to remove a hazard or place a barrier between the employee and the hazard. Administrative controls are changes in work procedures with the goal of reducing the duration, frequency, and severity of exposure.

Research and laboratory-specific guidance, requirements, and safety manuals can be viewed on the Research and Lab Safety webpage.

EH&S conducts annual safety inspections of all research and laboratory spaces on the UW Bothell campus to meet regulatory compliance and to ensure that organizational units are meeting their responsibility to both protect the environment and provide a safe and healthful place for employment and learning.

UW Bothell EH&S encourages UW Bothell laboratories to reach out to collaborate on their required annual self-inspections so that we can better understand the unique needs of your spaces and assist with needed support. UWB EH&S also assists with equipment decontamination forms, hazard reviews, standard operating procedure development, lab relocations, new equipment reviews, chemical cleanouts, custom training courses, and more.

New PI Orientations are available upon request. Please review the EH&S Guide for Principle Investigators as a reference tool that outlines your required health & safety responsibilities at the University.

UWB EH&S is available by contacting us at uwbehs@uw.edu.

Respirators are a type of personal protective equipment (PPE) designed to filter out airborne hazards. There are many types of respirators that have different capabilities and varying levels of protection It is important to properly select the appropriate respiratory for the task and to understand the use and limitations of that respirator. Respirators, along with other PPE, should only be considered as a last resort as they have limitations and do not eliminate the hazardous condition.

Employees who will use a respirator for work must follow the policies outlined in the UW Respiratory Protection Program, which includes:

  • Identify the need for respiratory protection by conducting a hazard evaluation and submitting a Respirator Request Form to EH&S.
  • Obtaining medical clearance through the UW Employee Health Center before wearing a respirator. If you are not medically cleared, you are not authorized to work in an environment where respirators are required.
  • Complete respirator fit testing given by EH&S. If you are required to use a respirator, you must be trained and fit tested every 12 months (please note that you cannot wear a respirator if you have facial hair – this is a legal/regulatory requirement).
  • Properly inspect, wear, clean, and store respirators at all times. Please review Section X: Respirator Maintenance, Storage, Inspections and Cartridge Change-Out Schedules of the Respiratory Protection Program Manual.
  • Personnel who voluntarily use respirators in the workplace where it is not required, regardless of whether the respirator was supplied by the University must read, understand the Advisory Information for Employees Who Voluntarily Use Respirators information page (it is recommended that supervisors and managers retain a signed copy of this document with their employee safety records).

UW Bothell shares workplace requirements, employee benefits, Health & Safety Committee meeting highlights, relevant safety notifications and focus sheets on designated safety bulletin boards located in every building:

  • ARC: Room 135
  • Discovery Hall: Employee break rooms 352D and 452D
  • Husky Hall: Hallway 1400 corridor
  • Innovation Hall: Employee break rooms 238 and 338
  • Library: Employee breakroom
  • Physical Plant: Employee breakroom
  • Sarah Simmonds Green Conservatory: Above sink in headhouse laboratory
  • Summit Hall: Employee breakroom 111
  • Truly House: Near front door
  • UW1: Hallway next to room 172
  • UW2: Employee breakroom 319
  • UW Beardslee Building: Kitchen
  • UW Beardslee Crossing (Chancellor’s Office): Employee kitchen

The University is committed to maintaining a safe and health environment for all. The UW Bothell | Cascadia Campus is a smoke- and vape-free campus, with the exception of designated smoking areas accordance with Washington Administrative Code 478-136-035.

There are 5 designated smoking areas on campus with urns available for disposal of cigarette butts:

  • Smoking tent in Physical Plant parking lot
  • Smoking tent on south side of UW1
  • Smoking tent on west side Campus Way NE across from CC1/CC2
  • Smoking tent in Husky Hall lower parking lot
  • Smoking tent in UWBB upper parking lot

Please help us maintain a healthy environment and prevent stormwater pollution by smoking only in the designated areas and appropriately disposing of cigarette butts.

For resources on how to quit smoking please visit the UW Seattle Designated Areas for Smoking and Vaping website.

Shop, studio, and makerspace-specific safety guidance, requirements, forms, and templates can be viewed on the UW Shop and Makerspace Safety webpage.

EH&S conducts regular safety inspections of all shop, studio and makerspaces on the Bothell campus to meet regulatory compliance and to ensure that organizational units are meeting their responsibility to both protect the environment and provide a safe and healthful place for employment and learning. UWB EH&S encourages these spaces to reach out to collaborate on their required annual self-inspections so that we can better understand the unique needs of your spaces and assist with needed support. We can also assist with the development of your required shop-specific safety plan, personal protective equipment assessments, MyChem chemical inventory upkeep, equipment decontamination forms, hazard reviews, standard operating procedure development, space relocations, new equipment reviews, chemical cleanouts, shop-specific training, and more!

UWB EH&S us available by contacting us at uwbehs@uw.edu.

All outdoor drains are storm drains and are meant only for rain. Everything that flows into a UW Bothell storm drain goes into nearby waterways such as North Creek Wetland. Pollutants picked up by storm water can harm the habitat for fish, other aquatic organisms, and wildlife.

The UW Bothell Storm Water Management Program is designed and implemented to reduce the discharge of pollutants from the campus stormwater system into the protected watersheds in the surrounding area. Anything that discharges into a storm drain that is not composed entirely of storm water is a non-storm water discharge (e.g., irrigation water runoff, clean tap water).

Report non-storm water discharges or spills on campus by calling Campus Safety at 425.352.5359. Please provide the location of the spill, the time you observed the spill, and other details (e.g., color and size of spill). Please take pictures if you are able.

EH&S provides educational programs, technical assistance, and health and safety services while functioning as a consultant to deans, directors, heads of academic and administrative units, and to faculty, students, and staff.

We offer training courses that meet regulatory and policy requirements that support a culture of safety at the University. Training is offered in-person, online, and in blended formats. We can also customize trainings for specific hazards, assist non-UW personnel with NetID sponsorship, and help supervisors navigate training compliance tracking.

Please reach out to UWB EH&S for assistance with selecting courses, accessing training records, or with training and consultation requests: uwbehs@uw.edu.