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    By virtue of the University Health and Safety Mission, associated University policies, and the general provisions of the Quebec Occupational Health and Safety Act, McGill University is committed to taking every reasonable precaution for the health and safety of its employees and students.

    The Biohazards Policy is intended to assist the University community in the effective control of biohazards, and establishes the requirements to be met when using potentially hazardous material of biological origin at McGill.

    The Biohazards Policy applies to all University departments, employees, outside contractors, students, fellows, volunteers and visiting scholars at the University or University-controlled sites.

    Biohazards are defined in Section 1.1 of the McGill Biosafety Manual

  • Prior to beginning work with biohazardous material, responsible users must complete and submit an Application to Use Biohazardous Materials to Environmental Health & Safety for review and approval.
  • Approval is required for research, testing, diagnostic and teaching activities involving the use of potentially biohazardous material, and is required for all Containment Levels, including Level 1. 
  • The application must be amended or the Biosafety Officer (BSO) must be notified whenever changes are made to an approved protocol, for example:
    • use of a new biohazardous material
    • changes in procedure(s)
    • changes in personnel
    • change in funding source(s)
    • expiry of a previously approved application for which funding has been renewed
  • It is the responsibility of the Principal Investigator (PI) to send a copy of the first page of the approved Application to the Research Grants Office and/or the granting agency.
  • As required by the Internal Responsibility System (IRS), the Principal Investigator or Laboratory Supervisor is ultimately responsible for the safe use of biological substances and must ensure that personnel and students have been properly trained.  The physical and operational requirements for work with biohazardous material are found in:
  • As required by the Laboratory Safety Responsibilities policy, all McGill personnel and students not directly associated with the biocontainment facility, all guests, contractors or non-laboratory personnel visiting or wishing to enter the facility must first obtain permission from the Principal Investigator (PI) or Laboratory Supervisor.
  • All accidents, incidents (near accidents) and occupational exposures involving biohazards must be reported to Environmental Health & Safety for investigation and follow-up (Accident/Incident/Occupational Disease Report).