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Founded in 1861, the University of Washington is one of the oldest public institutions in the west coast and one of the preeminent research universities in the world. The University of Washington is a multi-campus university comprised of three different campuses: Seattle, Tacoma, and Bothell. The Seattle campus is made up of sixteen schools and colleges that serve students ranging from an undergraduate level to a doctoral level. The university is home to world-class libraries, arts, music, drama, and sports, as well as the highest quality medical care in Washington State and a world-class academic medical center. The teaching and research of the University’s many professional schools provide undergraduate and graduate students the education necessary toward achieving an excellence that will serve the state, the region, and the nation. As part of a large and diverse community, the University of Washington serves more students than any other institution in the Northwest.
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LAB SAFETY SPECIALIST
University of Washington
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As a UW employee, you have a unique opportunity to change lives on our campuses, in our state and around the world. UW employees offer their boundless energy, creative problem solving skills and dedication to build stronger minds and a healthier world.

UW faculty and staff also enjoy outstanding benefits, professional growth opportunities and unique resources in an environment noted for diversity, intellectual excitement, artistic pursuits and natural beauty.

We have an outstanding opportunity for a Lab Safety Specialist to support the University of Washington’s (UW) Laboratory Safety Program, which serves to approximately 1,000 research and teaching groups and about 4,000 laboratory rooms.  This program is a comprehensive health and safety program in place for research and teaching laboratories where hazardous materials are used. An effective Laboratory Safety Program is critical to help the University ensure health and safety of personnel, environmental protection, public trust, and compliance with federal, state and location regulations. This position will be part of the lab safety inspection process, performing routine lab inspections on all campuses. This position will also manage the lab safety equipment audit program, to ensure that routine maintenance and repair is performed as needed in the laboratories. In addition, this position will provide general expertise and consulting as needed in support of lab safety.

The position requires a thorough understanding and knowledge of occupational hazard and risk assessment, risk mitigation communication, laboratory safety regulations, funding agency requirements, and University policy. It requires the ability to interpret, apply, and assess compliance for numerous complex and technical regulations for laboratories. These assessments require understanding of the toxicology, exposure pathways, of hazardous materials and physical hazards, and exposure prevention strategies using a hierarchy of exposure controls. The position requires sound judgment, innovation, and advanced technical expertise in applying regulations and best practices to a diverse collection of research and teaching spaces. This position requires minimal supervision and is expected to regularly exercise independent decision-making, advanced technical expertise and judgment on program development, direction, and client service delivery for complex laboratory safety issues.

This position is critical for partnering with UW organizational units with the goal of providing a safe University laboratory environment for students, faculty, staff, and visitors and is responsible for the implementation of a multi-faceted Laboratory Safety Program for the University. The safest achievable work environment can minimize accident or injury to the individuals in the lab as well as help protect laboratory equipment and data.  This position provides regulatory compliance support to the University's research and teaching mission. Failure on the part of the University to comply with these mandated laws and rules could result in injuries, regulatory citations, monetary penalty assessments, and possible civil and criminal sanctions against the University and its officials.

Duties & Responsibilities

Laboratory Safety Inspector and Mentor


•Identify and evaluate hazards to personnel and assist researchers and research support staff in mitigating hazards by providing consultation, assisting with development/revisions to laboratory procedures, selection of appropriate personal protective equipment, chemical/hazardous materials management practices, and lab specific training. 
•Provide support or escalated consultation and technical expertise on best practices in laboratories as determined by inspection results, incidents, or by request based on need for hazard mitigation or compliance.                                   
•Provide technical expertise for the interpretation, application, and implementation of safety regulations, research safety, field investigations, hazard communication, and laboratory safety.
•Assist research departments in implementing requirements and best practices identified in the University’s Laboratory Safety Manual.
•Develop and lead departmental level safety review of chemical handling and other occupational hazards in the laboratory environment.
•In coordination with client groups, develop and implement compliance strategies to address regulatory mandates, which recognize the complex operational and business lines of the University.
•Determine laboratory compliance requirements; identify areas for improvement; communicate requirements; implement guidelines/recommendations to all levels of management, employees, professional and technical staff.
•Provide recommendations for engineering and administrative controls primarily to address chemical and physical hazards in the laboratory, as well as general work practices including personal protective equipment and training.
•Assimilate complex health and safety regulations and knowledge of University operations to develop and present technical training, web guidelines, and other educational outreach materials for delivery to audiences with a broad range of educational and technical backgrounds.
•Conduct training relevant to laboratory/research safety, chemical safety, personal protective equipment, hazard communication, and other lab safety related topics.
•Participate in University and state advisory and/or technical committees and organizational lab safety committees, as assigned.
•Conduct routine lab inspections and schedule via the established program.
•Provide evaluation, consultation, and support to ensure health and safety and compliance in the University’s various complex research and teaching laboratories.
•Review complex research protocols; develop compliance tools and training materials for laboratories, reviewing existing practices, and recommending changes that support minimization of hazards to meet UW expectations as stated in policy documents.
•Perform data analysis and reporting.
•Update policies, procedures, checklists, web references, and materials that support the inspection program as needed.
•Support the annual Lab Safety Manual review and revision process. 
•Identify measures to monitor the effectiveness and improve the laboratory inspection program and related processes.  
•Work with organizational units and laboratories to implement consistent practices and procedures; provide oversight and routinely evaluate the effectiveness of survey program. 
•Review accident/injury/illness trend analysis; identify intervention strategies and necessary policy and program improvements.                                                                                                                          
•Participate in long-range strategic planning; identify initiatives and operational activities to ensure University compliance with changing standards of safety regulations.
                                                                                                                                                                    
General research health and safety services and support

•Conduct Industrial Hygiene (IH) investigations as part of injury/illness follow-up, including field inspections, exposure assessments, and monitoring.  Work with organizational units to identify primary and contributing causes and recommend corrective actions to prevent recurrence.
•Develop departmental process for occupational health and safety review of chemical and other occupational hazards in the research environment.
•Assist organizational units in the development and implementation of health hazard assessments, injury/illness prevention strategies, and required Accident Prevention Programs.
•Design and conduct exposure assessment strategies to identify occupational health hazards; provide recommendations for engineering and administrative controls, work practices, personal protective equipment, training, and medical surveillance.
•Analyze/evaluate findings and/or laboratory data concerning occupational health and safety hazards in all types of UW work environments including trade shops, health care facilities, research laboratories, academic settings; prepare reports.
•Evaluate and determine effectiveness of exposure controls including local exhaust ventilation, selection and use of personal protective equipment. Make recommendations as needed for enhancements and changes to exposure controls.
•Complete detailed records of field activities, inspections, investigations, health hazard assessments, monitoring and sampling results and recommendations. Maintain records in accordance with accepted standards and assuring appropriate confidentiality and audit accountability.
•Provide technical and administrative support to the Institutional Chemical & Physical Safety Committee.

Departmental Activities and Special Projects

•Participate in EH&S departmental and team meetings, work on special projects, other duties/projects as assigned.  
•Incorporate strategic planning initiatives from the EH&S Strategic plan into routine work. Support data gathering for metrics and performance monitoring of programs to ensure organizational efficiencies and desired outcomes are met and program goals are reached.
•May serve as the University's EH&S On-Call (Duty Officer) on a rotational basis.


Requirements include:

•Bachelor's degree, preferably in chemistry, biochemistry, engineering, natural sciences, environmental and occupational health sciences, or public health.
•Minimum of four years of accumulated professional experience.
•Thorough understanding and knowledge of laboratory safety regulations, funding agency requirements, and University policy
•Ability to interpret, apply, and assess compliance for numerous complex and technical regulations for laboratories
•Strong understanding of hazard and risk assessment, risk and risk communication
•Demonstrated ability to provide judgment, innovation, and advanced technical expertise in applying regulations and best practices to a diverse collection of research and teaching spaces
•The ability to regularly exercise independent decision-making, advanced technical expertise and judgment on program development, direction, and client service delivery for complex laboratory safety issues, with minimal supervision

Equivalent education/experience will substitute for all minimum qualifications except when there are legal requirements, such as a license/certification/registration.


As a UW employee, you will enjoy generous benefits and work/life programs. For a complete description of our benefits for this position, please visit our website, click here.


Application Process:

The application process for UW positions may include completion of a variety of online assessments to obtain additional information that will be used in the evaluation process.  These may include Work Authorization, Cover Letter and/or others.  Any assessments that you need to complete will appear on your screen as soon as you select “Apply to this position”. Once you begin an assessment, it must be completed at that time; if you do not complete the assessment, you will be prompted to do so the next time you access your “My Jobs” page. If you select to take it later, it will appear on your "My Jobs" page to take when you are ready. Please note that your application will not be reviewed, and you will not be considered for this position until all required assessments have been completed.