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Health & Safety Manual - Biological Safety

2.1 Introduction

The purpose of this manual is to serve as a resource for researchers and staff and to support and encourage their activities in a manner that:

  • Protects all University personnel and visitors from laboratory-acquired infections;
  • Maintains the security and integrity of specimens and other research materials;
  • Provides environmental protection to minimize risks to those outside the laboratory and beyond the confines of the campus; and,
  • Ensures compliance with existing Federal, State, and City health, safety, and environmental regulations and guidelines.

No single document can address every contingency. When additional activity- or agent-specific information is required, EH&S will assist investigators in developing and implementing appropriate practices to minimize the risk of laboratory infection or environmental contamination. When indicated, the expertise of the Institutional Biosafety Committee or other resources may be called upon for additional input. Principal Investigators are responsible for seeking out these and other resources.  They must also ensure that all personnel under their supervision are appropriately trained, informed of applicable regulations and guidelines and that they are capable, based on academic background and hands-on experience, of working within these regulations and guidelines.

Biological Safety is a dynamic field; researchers use organisms that were not even identified a few years ago and the technology (and the nature of the hazards) associated with them is continually evolving.   Between periodic revisions of this manual, EH&S will continue to communicate pertinent biosafety information to the research community via e-mail, newsletters and other media, and during periodic laboratory surveys.