Biological Safety

The purpose of the University's Biological Safety Program is to assist all Principal Investigators and research staff to safely handle biological agents in the laboratory by way of implementing a Risk Assessment process by analyzing the agents’ specific risk factors. The Biological Agent Registration Form must be completed with every agent present in the laboratory or facility.

The Risk Assessment process will allow you to identify the Biosafety level for each agent in the laboratory.

The levels are designed to minimize the risk of exposure to infectious or potentially infectious biological agents thru the implementation of good laboratory practices and correct microbiological technique. They are designated in ascending order, by degree of protection provided to personnel, the environment, and the community. Standard microbiological practices are common to all laboratories. Special microbiological practices enhance worker safety, environmental protection, and address the risk of handling agents requiring increasing levels of containment.

It is the responsibility of the Principal Investigator to assign the biosafety level to the agent(s) he/she uses in the laboratory, to implement the necessary practices and to design the laboratory according to the requirements of the specific biosafety level:

  • Biosafety Level 1 (BSL1)
  • Biosafety Level 2 (BSL2)
  • Biosafety Level 3 (BSL3)
  • Biosafety Level 4 (BSL4)

For more detailed and in depth information on the proper risk assessment process with biological agents and the classification in biosafety levels, check the CDC/NIH - Biosafety in Microbiological and Biomedical Laboratories (BMBL), 5th Edition.


RESEARCH WITH ANIMALS

When working in research with animals, the risk assessment process must have in consideration the animal behavior and physiology as a key risk factor. This additional factor conveys the need to classify research with animals and infectious agents into animal biosafety levels. It is the responsibility of the Principal Investigator to assign the animal biosafety level:

  • Animal Biosafety Level 1 (ABSL1)
  • Animal Biosafety Level 2 (ABSL2)
  • Animal Biosafety Level 3 (ABSL3)
  • Animal Biosafety Level 4 (ABSL4)

The requirements to obtain privileges for the use of animals for research purposes are under the responsibility of the Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC). For more detail information login at the IACUC website or by calling (305) 243-2311.

For more detailed and in depth information on the proper risk assessment process with animal biological agents and the classification in biosafety levels, check the CDC/NIH - Biosafety in Microbiological and Biomedical Laboratories (BMBL), 5th Edition.

RECOMBINANT DNA RESEARCH

Compliance with the NIH Guidelines requires the Principal Investigators who are working with Recombinant DNA (rDNA) to make the appropriate biological risk assessment and to assign the appropriate risk group as per the NIH guidelines and to Biosafety levels as per the BMBL:

  • Risk Group 1 (RG1)
  • Risk Group 2 (RG2)
  • Risk Group 3 (RG3)
  • Risk Group 4 (RG4)

To get approval to do rDNA research at the University of Miami, you must contact the Institutional Biosafety Committee (IBC) by login in at: http://uresearch.miami.edu/regulatory-compliance-services/ibc or by calling at (305) 243-2311.

For more detailed and in depth information on the proper risk assessment process with rDNA biosafety level and the classification in biosafety levels, check the CDC/NIH - Biosafety in Microbiological and Biomedical Laboratories (BMBL), 5th Edition.

For more information on the biological safety program at the University of Miami or on any issues with biological agents, please contact us.