Below are minimal acceptable standards for waste disposal, training and emergency plans for activities involving biohazards. Supervisors of such activities (i.e., the principal investigator, course instructor, or laboratory director) are responsible for determining whether these are sufficient for their work and ensuring that personnel are adequately informed and trained. With IBC approval, these plans may be modified to suit specific project needs.
UMMC has a written waste management plan; Management of Medical/Infectious Waste; a copy can be obtained by calling Environmental Health and Safety (4-1980).
The waste management plan includes the following elements:
Chemical waste, regardless of whether or not deemed a biohazard must be disposed of through the Chemical Safety Office (call 4-1981). All radioactive waste must be disposed of through the Radiation Safety Office regardless of whether or not deemed a biohazard (4-1078).
All glass slides, slide covers and test tubes that appear to be medical/infectious waste must be disposed of in sharp containers. All chemical or radioactive sharps must be collected in puncture proof sharp containers and disposed of through the Chemical Safety Office or the Radiation Safety Office.
Waste disposal options include:
Supervisors are responsible for instructing and training all personnel involved in any activity that includes biohazards. Training must include, but need not be limited to, standard and special microbiological practices and procedures, and proper use of safety equipment (primary barriers) and laboratory facilities (secondary barriers) to ensure safety of personnel, and containment of the biohazard during routine work or if accidents occur. Practices, techniques and barriers for each biosafety level (BSL-1, BSL-2, and BSL-3) are detailed in Biosafety in Microbiological and Biomedical Laboratories (CDC guidelines) and NIH Guidelines for Research Involving Recombinant or Synthetic Nucleic Acid Molecules (NIH guidelines)
These guidelines also give recommendations of when health surveillance of project personnel is advised.
Project personnel must read pertinent sections of applicable guidelines. In addition to training outlined therein, the IBC requires the following:
Annual retraining is required; the content and format may vary to suit each lab. For example: (1) attend continuing education seminars periodically sponsored by the IBC; (2) view training videos available from the IBC on topics such the design and proper use of biosafety cabinets and (3) participate in supervisor-conducted hands-on retraining or review of literature pertinent to their activity. The IBC will distribute an Annual Biosafety Update Form to document who was retrained and how this was accomplished.
Any group working with a known or potential biohazard shall have an emergency plan that describes procedures to be followed upon accidental contamination of personnel or the environment. For activities requiring containment at BSL-2 or higher, a written emergency plan must be on file with the IBC and one copy maintained in the laboratory’s Biosafety Manual. Exceptions and modifications requisite for specific types of activities must be approved by the IBC. Supervisors are responsible for ensuring personnel are knowledgeable of and trained in all emergency procedures, including the requirement to file an incident report.