Did you realize this is the last week of the recently announced National Biosafety Stewardship Month?
It’s time to assess, address, and update your lab’s safety standards. You are probably aware that NIH requires its grantees and/or contractors to meet applicable Federal, State, and local health and safety standards. You must also establish and implement necessary measures to minimize employees risk of injury or illness in activities related to NIH grants.
IS YOUR LAB READY?
Based on their notice, NIH and other HHS agencies urge all institutions, grantees, and contractors to complete the following during this month (and throughout the year):
- “Reexamine current policies and procedures for biosafety practices and oversight to ascertain whether they require modification to optimize their effectiveness
- Conduct inventories of infectious agents and toxins in all laboratories to ensure that the institution has a record of which infectious agents and toxins are being utilized, has documentation that those materials are properly stored under the appropriate containment conditions, and has documentation that cites the party responsible for appropriate stewardship of the materials
- Reinforce biosafety training of investigators, laboratory staff, and members of IBCs to include
reexamining training materials and practices being utilized by the institution
- Updating materials as appropriate
- Ascertaining the appropriate frequency of training and conduct training when the interval between training or other considerations warrant it.”
The following guidelines are among resources available for use in developing and implementing health and safety operating procedures and practices for both personnel and facilities:
- Biosafety in Microbiological and Biomedical Laboratories, CDC and NIH, HHS
- Prudent Practices for Safety in Laboratories (1995), National Research Council, National Academy Press, 500 Fifth Street, NW, Lockbox 285, Washington, DC 20055 (ISBN 0-309-05229-7).
- NIH Guidelines for Research Involving Recombinant or Synthetic Nucleic Acid Molecules
Yours in organization…