Biosafety Manual Introduction

Introduction to the Manual

The goal of this manual is to provide policies and procedures that when implemented will reduce risks to the University of Nevada, Reno community from biological agents, including pathogenic organisms and derived toxins. These policies and procedures reflect current biosafety regulatory expectations, as well as currently accepted biosafety practices, and are designed to safeguard personnel, facilities, and the environment without inhibiting research activities. Principal Investigators and laboratory workers are expected to be familiar with the requirements of this Manual and to implement these requirements in their laboratory operations.

The hazards present in any laboratory are rarely limited to biological agents; chemical hazards are almost always of concern, and to a lesser extent, radiological hazards may often be present as well. Consequently, biosafety should not be approached separately from other laboratory hazards but should be viewed as just one component of a total laboratory safety program. Guidance on chemical and radiological hazards can be found in the University Chemical Hygiene Plan and the University Radiation Safety Manual, respectively.

Success of the University of Nevada, Reno Biosafety Program requires a team effort involving the Institutional Biosafety Committee, academic departments, Principal Investigators, laboratory workers, and the Environmental Health and Safety Department. Principal Investigators are responsible for the health and safety of personnel who work under their supervision and occupy their laboratory space. Consequently, they are in a unique position to positively influence the implementation of the safe work practices contained in this manual. The Institutional Biosafety Committee and the Environmental Health and Safety Department endorse this manual and encourage active participation in maintaining high standards of biosafety at the University.