Biological safety

Biorisk management within the University covers the processes in place and the steps that you, as an employee or student of the University, are required to take to ensure elimination or control of the risks from:
  • the direct or indirect exposure of people to infectious or harmful biological materials (laboratory and non-laboratory activities);
  • the release of environmentally harmful biological materials from containment.
  • the malicious use of pathogens and biotoxins

Biological material includes biological agents such as  bacteria, viruses, fungi, cell cultures, protozoa and prions or substances that do or are likely to contain such biological agents.

Biological safety and genetic modification

This document describes the University policy and procedures governing work with biologically hazardous material.

Published document name: biocop-po.pdf

Version: 1.41

Date of publication: November 2014*

Author: Simon Golding

Contact: Simon Golding

Biological Safety and Genetic Modification Policy (PDF, 562 kb)

Before undertaking any work with hazardous biological substances University personnel must read and understand the University's policy governing such work and all relevant risk assessments (or undertake such risk assessments if necessary) and must register their details. The current policy and associated information on complying both with the policy and the regulations that direct it can be found in this document.

*2014 revision to cover regulatory change (Genetically Modified Organisms (Contained Use) Regulations 2014).

Biorisk assessment templates and other forms

Biosafety training

Biological and Genetic Modification Safety Committee (BGMSC)

BGMSC, a sub-committee of the University Executive Committee, advises on all aspects of biological safety management within the University. Where activities on University premises involve genetically modified organisms or pathogenic biological agents it also has specific functions under legislation and University safety policies including to:

  • review risk assessments covering the acquisition, storage, use, disposal and transport of these materials and approve such activities before commencement;
  • approve containment facilities for undertaking work with these materials;
  • monitor activities involving these materials by receiving inspection/audit reports, training information and reports of accidents/incidents.

Formal meetings are held at least four times per year or as required. Less hazardous activity risk assessments may also be discussed between meetings using the Blackboard OLE (see BGMSC review process guidance under 'Further information' below).

Meetings 2016

2pm SAFE training room, 1-9 OPH
(...) denotes submission deadline

05 Feb (22 Jan)
04 May (20 Apr)
05 Sep (new date)
09 Nov (26 Oct)


Agenda and minutes

05 Sep A* n/a
04 May A M*
05 Feb A M
* denotes draft 
07 Oct A M
06 May A M
11 Feb A M
22 Oct A M
16 Jul A M
5 Feb A M
16 Oct A (126 kb) M* (215 kb)
17 Apr A (103 kb) M (54 kb)
30 Jan A (104 kb) M (52 kb)
24 Oct A (70 kb) M (49 kb)
11 Jul A (475 kb) M (108 kb)
27 Apr A (80 kb) M (109 kb)
25 Jan A (137 kb) M (118 kb)
02 Nov A (196 kb) M (133 kb)
20 Jul A (107 kb) M (217 kb)
11 May A (97 kb) M (115 kb)
26 Jan A (475 kb) M (273 kb)
13 Oct A (279 kb) M (190 kb)
14 Jul A (227 kb) M (151 kb)
05 May A (312 kb) M (66 kb)
27 Jan A (102 kb) M (317 kb)
14 Oct A (76 kb) M (318 kb)
15 Jul A (18 kb) M (26 kb)
27 Apr A (63 kb) M (34 kb)
15 Jan A (20 kb) M (27 kb)
16 Sep A (259 kb) M (25 kb)
05 Jun A (252 kb) M (192 kb)
21 Jan A (104 kb) M (147 kb)
20 Sep A (31 kb) M (61 kb)
23 Mar A (113 kb) M (24 kb)
10 Nov A (50 kb) M (97 kb)
11 May A (74 kb) M (85 kb)
06 Feb A (72 kb) M (129 kb)
07 Jul A (24 kb) M (26 kb)

Further information