The George Washington University - Home Page
Total GW
   

FAQs

Health and Safety FAQs

  1. Someone told me the floor tile in my office is asbestos. Should I be worried about exposure to asbestos?

    Many of the University's buildings were built before the EPA banned the use of asbestos in buildings. The Office of Health and Safety has information regarding identified locations of asbestos in most University buildings. If we do not have information on-file regarding your office, we can have the material sampled for asbestos content. If the material in your office is asbestos containing, but it is in good condition and it is not disturbed, it poses no immediate hazard to your health. If the material is damaged, you should contact Health and Safety for an evaluation of your office. The University will handle any corrective action in accordance with applicable federal and local regulations.
  2. Is the paint in my office/room lead-based paint, and should I be worried about exposure to lead?

    Many of the University's buildings were built before lead-based paint (LBP) was banned in 1978. The Office of Health and Safety has information regarding identified locations of LBP in most University buildings. If we do not have information on-file regarding your office/room, we can have the paint sampled for lead-content. If the paint in your office/room is lead-based, but is in good condition and is not chipping, flaking, or damaged, it poses no immediate hazard to your health. If the paint is damaged, you should contact Health and Safety for an evaluation of your office/room. The University will handle any corrective action in accordance with applicable federal and local regulations.
  3. There is a sign that states asbestos/lead abatement will be performed in my building tomorrow; should I come to work that day?

    Yes. The University follows all applicable safety precautions in accordance with applicable federal and local regulations to ensure asbestos/lead is removed and handled properly. Unless your supervisor is directed by the Office of Health and Safety to relocate employees, the abatement work will be isolated from the rest of the building.
  4. How does Health and Safety know I will not be exposed to asbestos/lead in my office during the abatement?

    During all abatement projects in occupied University buildings, an consulting firm is hired to perform industrial hygiene air monitoring before, during, and after abatement activity. This monitoring will ensure no employees are exposed to asbestos/lead in accordance with regulations established by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration.
  5. Facilities fixed a leaking pipe in my office last week. Do I have a mold problem?

    The University's Mold Management Program is designed to prevent and eliminate potential indoor mold growth. Any water damaged building materials should be cleaned and dried if possible, or removed from the building. Just because there was a water leak, that doesn't mean you have mold in your work area. If you believe you have mold in your work area, or you see visual mold growth, the Office of Health and Safety will perform an investigation and determine what action is necessary.
  6. I have several old computers that I need to dispose of, what should I do?

    The University has established an Ecycling Program to dispose of old computers and certain electronic equipment (cell phones, copiers, fax machines). The Ecycling website will explain the process. In a nutshell, if GW owns the equipment, it may have a fixed asset sticker on it. If so, you will have to fill out a change in asset form to get rid of it. If there's no sticker, then you can just call work control at 994-6706 and Transportation will come pick it up from you in a few days. The Change In Fixed Assets form can be found at: http://www.gwu.edu/~ecycling/change.in.fixed.asset.form.pdf.
  7. I need to drive a 12 passenger van for a University sponsored trip, what do I need to do in order to drive?

    In order to become an approved driver in GWU's motor vehicle safety program, you need to complete the following elements before driving:
    • Submit completed "Drivers Authorization Application" with a legible copy of your current driver's license to the Office of Health and Safety.
    • Complete the on-line van safety training program and obtain a minimum passing score of at least an 80%.
    • If driving a vehicle with greater than a 10 seat capacity, the "Passenger Van Safety Acknowledgment" form must be completed and returned to Health and Safety. Once the application is submitted, the applicant will receive an email with a USER ID, PASSWORD, and instructions on how to access the online training. The entire process takes about one day from the time Health and Safety receives the application.


      back to top
© 2014 The George Washington University