Central Health and Safety Committee

The President of Western Washington University, upon the recommendation of the Provost and Vice Presidents, ensures that a University Health and Safety Committee is created, maintained, and fully supported by individual units. The Washington Administrative Code, Part 296‐800‐130 includes requirements for the committee’s composition and functions. These requirements are met through the following charter elements. The general purpose of Western’s Central Health and Safety Committee is to promote and enhance the safety and health of the students, employees, and visitors present on the campus, in University facilities, or engaged in University‐sanctioned activities.

The Committee is comprised of employee-elected and employer-selected members. The specific responsibilities of the committee include the following:

1. Review safety‐ and health‐related policies, procedures, and protocols, and to make recommendations to the Vice President for Business and Financial Affairs regarding acceptance and implementation.

2. Review accident investigations, safety and health inspection reports, and other incident reports relating to the health and safety of students, employees, and visitors, and to make recommendations to the Vice President for Business and Financial Affairs, as well as to other members of the University, at the discretion of the committee.

3. Review accidental injury and illness prevention programs and activities and make suggestions to decrease accidents related to activities associated with Western.

4. Advise the Environmental Health and Safety staff or departmental safety officers on matters of health and safety.

5. Evaluate the results of safety audits provided by departments at Western and make any appropriate recommendations related to safety and health.

Note: Emergency management and planning coordination and review is not part of this committee’s responsibilities, but is under the purview of Western’s Emergency Management Committee.


Laboratory and Chemical Safety Committee

Western’s Laboratory and Chemical Safety Committee goal is to instill safe science principles in our faculty, staff, and students to build a stronger lab safety culture. Safe science principles will reflect positively on our institution, the larger community, and prepare our students for laboratory work beyond the university.   The Laboratory and Chemical Safety Committee’s purpose is to help guide laboratory safety decisions, including instructional, research, and support functions at Western.  The committee will also provide guidance on procurement and movement of hazardous chemicals for University-related business and on University property.

The committee is established by the authority of the President and reports to the Vice President for Business and Financial Affairs (VP for BFA) and the Provost. 


Institutional Biosafety Committee (IBC)

The IBC responsibilities are described in the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Guidelines for Research Involving Recombinant and Synthetic Nucleic Acid Molecules (the Guidelines).  Because the NIH Guidelines are applicable to all recombinant and synthetic nucleic acid research that is conducted at or sponsored by any institution that receives support from the NIH, the Guidelines are applicable to everyone who participates in research, instruction, or work at Western. Committee areas of responsibility include:

• Review and approval of recombinant/synthetic nucleic acid activities at Western which are regulated under the NIH Guidelines;

• Review recombinant DNA activities exempt from the NIH Guidelines; and

• Review other biological research to assess projects for appropriate safety and containment controls.

This committee is appointed by and reports to the Provost through the Vice Provost for Research.  The IBC corresponds directly with the National Institutes of Health/Office of Biotechnology Activities (NIH/OBA) as appropriate via the Environmental Health and Safety Office.