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The Biological Safety section provides general surveillance over activities involving biohazardous agents, monitors and reviews the performance and maintenance of containment systems, provides consulting services on aspects of biological safety and provides guidance and assistance concerning the packaging and shipping of biohazardous agents.

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The Department of Environment, Health and Safety wishes to ensure that all researchers in our biological and biomedical labs have the essential skills, knowledge, and abilities required for working safely with biologic agents and materials.

To assist Principal Investigators (PIs) and designated Safety Supervisors in measurably documenting that their personnel are appropriately trained in key competency domains, we strongly encourage labs to:

  1. adopt the linked Biosafety Competency Checklists as a beneficial tool to use during their training activities, and
  2. retain these completed checklists on file in their lab.

Three checklists are provided which outline the roles of laboratory personnel with competencies tiered to a workers’ experience and/or responsibility:

Tier 1. Entry Level
Checklist for students, technicians, specialists
Tier 2. Mid-Level
Checklist for postdoctoral associates, safety supervisors and lab managers
Tier 3. Senior Level
Checklist for Principal Investigators and equivalents

This checklist tool was developed using the Guidelines for Biosafety Laboratory Competency published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Association of Public Health Laboratories (APHL). Please reference this resource for more information on the value for conducting such safety competencies in your lab.