This is to inform you of a change in a training requirement for University of Washington (UW) employees. As UW buildings can have asbestos-containing materials, all UW employees have been required to complete asbestos awareness training, both at the beginning of their employment and annually thereafter. Recently, the Washington State Department of Labor and Industries (L&I) provided an interpretation of their regulations that does not require most UW employees to complete asbestos awareness training every year. Asbestos awareness training is still a requirement for new employees, and the UW continues to proactively monitor buildings and renovation projects to prevent asbestos exposure.
The updated asbestos training requirements are as follows:
- New UW employees are still required to complete asbestos awareness training at the beginning of their employment. The online asbestos general awareness training is available on the EH&S website and through the Human Resources New Employee Orientation webpage.
- Most UW employees are no longer required to complete the asbestos awareness training every year.
- Annual asbestos awareness training remains a requirement only for certain employees, such as maintenance and custodial workers, whose work may bring them into contact with asbestos containing materials, and thus require additional awareness training.
- Additional specialized training is still required for employees who work directly with asbestos-containing materials.
The Environmental Health and Safety (EH&S) Department will continue to work with all departments to ensure they understand and meet environmental and occupational health and safety requirements for asbestos. All UW employees should continue to report damaged building materials or asbestos concerns to their supervisors or EH&S at (206) 543-0469 and follow instructions on caution and warning signs posted in buildings and around construction and renovation projects. Additional information about asbestos is available on the EH&S Asbestos webpage, and the EH&S newsletter provides updates on asbestos and other safety-related topics.