The biosafety program at St. Michael’s Hospital is intended to protect workers, students, the community and the environment from the risks which may arise in the handling of potentially hazardous biological materials, by ensuring that all elements described in the biosafety program are available and implemented prior to starting any work involving bio-hazardous material. It also ensures that all work is conducted in compliance with applicable federal, provincial and institutional legislations and guidelines.
This biosafety site is to provide guidance and direction for handling, transporting and disposing of hazardous biological agents at St. Michael’s Hospital. Although the awareness of the hazards posed by these agents have increased over the previous decades, the widespread and increasing use of these agents in research, means they pose an ever increasing risk to researchers and the general public.
The purpose of our biosafety site is to provide guidance and direction for handling, transporting and disposing of hazardous biological agents at St. Michael’s Hospital. A hazardous biological agent is defined as biologically-derived material that poses a hazard to human health or to the environment. Although the awareness of the hazards posed by these agents have increased over the previous decades, the widespread and increasing use of these agents in research, means they pose an ever increasing risk to researchers and the general public.
If there is a biohazardous spill, you must:
The St. Michael’s Hospital Research Biosafety Committee (RBC) is charged with ensuring that all activities within the research community of St. Michael’s Hospital that involve work with biohazardous agents are conducted in a safe manner and in conformity with all applicable standards and guidelines.
The RBC is composed of principal investigators (PIs), researchers and administrators with responsibilities and experience in handling biohazardous materials and is chaired by a senior researcher. The Chair is empowered, with the advice and guidance of the RBC members, to approve the use of biohazardous materials by a St. Michael’s PI via a biosafety permit and to enforce appropriate safety standards.
For all research work involving the handling, use or manipulation of biohazardous or potentially biohazardous material within St. Michael’s Hospital, a group must hold a valid biosafety permit. Materials include viruses, bacteria, fungi, parasites, prions and other microorganisms/genetic systems, and human and animal tissues, cells, blood and body fluids.
Application forms are available through the Research Biosafety Officer, who will also provide guidance and assistance in completing the form.
Forms are completed electronically and submitted to the Research Biosafety Committee (RBC) via the Research Biosafety Officer (BSO).
Training is an essential component of the Occupational Health and Safety Act, helping ensure that all workers can perform their jobs in a safe and healthy way. Research Facilities offers a variety of training courses to faculty, staff and students including new employee training, hands-on training and online learning modules.
The hospital has an internal licensing system that controls the radioisotope types and amounts, their uses within areas in the hospital. Every wet bench researcher that uses a radioisotope must hold radioisotope use permit.
Information on handling, transport and safe use procedures for radioactive substances can be found here. The documents contained here cover procedures for wet bench researchers, but also for applications within the hospital. For further information on radiation safety and the use of radioisotopes, contact the Radiation Safety Officer.