3.1 Employer Responsibilities

The University is responsible for implementing and maintaining the Biological Safety Program in work areas. This responsibility typically rests with each department, either with a departmental safety committee or with one or more individuals selected to serve as coordinator(s).

Employers are obligated to include the following elements in a biological safety program:

  • A determination of the required levels of protective apparel, equipment and containment facilities and assurance that these are adequate and in working order,
    • A personal protective equipment hazard assessment tool is available from EHS that suggests the recommended PPE for several common laboratory activities.
    • Recommended levels of containment and associated facilities can be found in the NIH Guidelines (National Institutes of Health's Guidelines for Research Involving Recombinant DNA Molecules) and in the BMBL (Biosafety in Microbiological and Biomedical Laboratories).
  • Appropriate training to ensure workers know and follow proper biological safety procedures.  Recommended training for laboratory personnel can be found on EHS’s Web site and in Section 12.0.
  • Regular biosafety inspections of facilities and equipment.  Staff from EHS will annually certify all fume hoods; staff from Bioengineering will annually certify all BSCs (biological safety cabinets).  The PI is responsible for scheduling any necessary maintenance.
  •  Assurance of knowledge and compliance with current legal and University requirements concerning biological safety.  Training material and annual laboratory self-audits (described below) will assist departments and PIs (principal investigators) in meeting this requirement.