Biosafety Manual Test

Authority & Responsibilities

By authority delegated from the University President, the Vice President for Business Affairs is responsible for the safety of all University facilities.  Under this authority, policies are developed to provide a safe teaching, research, service, housing and recreational environment.

The Division of Environmental Health and Safety (EHS) was established in 1974 and given the responsibility for the management of all safety practices and the administration of the program.

The mission of EHS is to support and advance the teaching, learning and research activities of the University through promotion of a safe and healthy campus environment.  This is accomplished providing and coordinating programs and services that minimize safety, health, environmental and regulatory risks to the University of Florida community in a manner consistent with responsible fiscal and environmental stewardship.  Inherent in this mission is the charge to provide a safe and healthy environment in which the University’s activities can be pursued.

The University adopts all applicable federal and state safety laws, rules and regulations in order to carry out its duties and responsibilities.  In additions, EH&S will reference standards or codes related to safety, which have been adopted and promulgated by nationally recognized standards-setting organizations.  The interpretation of safety codes and standards is the responsibility of the Division of Environmental Health and Safety.

In order to assure an effective Environmental Health & Safety program for the University of Florida, it is imperative that all individuals associated with the University comply fully with the policies and procedures set forth in this manual.

Curtis Reynolds, Vice President, Business Affairs

Policy Statement

It is the policy of the University of Florida (UF) to provide a safe working and learning environment.  The Biosafety Office has developed this manual as a guidance document to familiarize UF faculty, staff, students, volunteers, and visitors with the institution-wide policies and procedures for the safe use of biohazardous material at the University and its affiliates.  When these policies and procedures are followed, the risk of occupational exposures to biohazards as well as the risk of accidental environmental release of biohazardous materials is minimized.

The primary responsibility for insuring safe conduct and conditions in the laboratory or research area resides with the principal investigator (PI).  The PI should be familiar with the contents of this manual, make certain all staff members are familiar with it, and ensure all work with biohazardous materials is conducted in compliance with University policies and procedures.  This Biosafety Manual should be used in conjunction with the UF Laboratory Safety Manual which provides additional general safety information.  These manuals, produced by EHS, describe policies and procedures that are required for the safe conduct of research at the University of Florida.


All individuals working with or handling biohazardous materials should be committed to safety, and must demonstrate the ability to understand and follow:

  1. Safe work practices
  2. Applicable local, state, and federal requirements for work with these materials.

The Principal Investigator (PI) is responsible for ensuring that all members of the laboratory are familiar with and adhere to safe research practices.  In the clinical laboratory setting, the faculty member who supervises the laboratory is responsible for safety practices.  The PI agrees to:

  1. Follow all local, state, and federal requirements applicable to his or her research.
  2. Register (and update) his or her work with the Biosafety Office and/or Institutional Biosafety Committee.
  3. Inform laboratory staff and visitors of the hazards they may encounter and provide information on how to minimize the hazard exposure.
  4. Report exposures to or releases of biohazardous material to the Biosafety Office.
  5. Provide a safe work or learning environment.

Lab managers, supervisors, technicians and others who provide supervisory roles in laboratories and clinical settings are responsible for overseeing the safety practices in laboratories. 

Employees who work with biological materials are responsible for:

  1. Reading this manual and understanding the contents.
  2. Carrying out the safety practices outlined in this manual.
  3. Reporting any problems, accidents, and spills to the PI or lab manager.

Environmental Health & Safety will provide guidance, information, review, monitoring, and training regarding biosafety programs, when appropriate. This includes:

  1. Registering and tracking of projects utilizing biohazards.
  2. Evaluating work practices, safety and personal protective equipment, and facilities used for research or clinical activities with biohazards.
  3. Developing and implementing administrative controls (along with the Institutional Biosafety Committee) for biohazards.
  4. Serving as a liaison between the PI and local, state, and federal regulators.

Institutional Biosafety Committee (IBC)

  1. Reviews and approves all experiments involving recombinant or synthetic nucleic acids.
  2. Works in conjunction with the EH&S Biosafety Office to establish, monitor, and enforce policies or procedures for work with biohazardous materials, including BSL3 and select agents.