Biological Work

Biohazardous work within the BI must follow McMaster University biosafety guidelines and applicable RMMs, and be approved by the McMaster Biosafety Office and the McMaster Presidential Biosafety Advisory Committee (PHAC), through the completion of Biological Utilization Protocols (BUP)

An approved BUP is required if planning to work with or import infectious biological material or toxins in a laboratory.

ALL biohazardous agent(s) brought into BI laboratories must be pre-approved by the BI Biological Technician and BI Director.

Biohazardous work within BI laboratories requires

  • a BI Biohazard Risk Assessment to determine: relevant assets, potential threats and vulnerabilities; appropriate countermeasures or mitigation strategies; control measures to reduce biohazard agent/material exposure risk; and adequate biosecurity measurements.
  • Each user and their supervisor must sign a BI Biohazardous Work Responsibility Form.
  • Each user must be captured on a project proposal to disclose how biohazardous agent(s) will be manipulated in BI facilities.

BI users are encouraged to review relevant BI Risk Assessment(s) and agent SDS/PSDS prior to working with biohazardous materials. BI users are also encouraged to be aware of other biohazardous agents present in BI facilities.

BSL laboratories house 70% ethanol and bleach. Disinfection and decontamination chemicals that are required for a biohazardous agent that are NOT regularly available in the BI MUST be provided by the user’s supervisor.

All biological substances, regardless of how long they are in BI laboratories, must be entered into the BioELN and disclosed to the BI Biological Technician. The BI is only authorized for BSL-1 and BSL-2 materials.

Refer to the BI Biohazardous Work Policy.

Access to BSL-2 laboratories requires additional McMaster training and will require on-site orientation.

If you are working with a BSL-2 agent that is part of McMaster’s Medical Monitoring, you must enroll. More information can be found here.

Refer to the BI Biohazardous Work Policy – Medical Monitoring.

Watch this video to see lab etiquette when entering and exiting a BSL-2 lab.

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