Biological Safety

If you have any questions or comments about the University's Biological Safety Program or would like to schedule a class, contact Environmental Health & Safety at (479) 575-5448 or you may send email to the Biological Safety Officer (BSO), Jim Hogan.

Biological Safety Policy

Biological SafetyIt is the policy of The University of Arkansas, that all principal investigators, students, and technical personnel who are planning to undertake research projects involving the use of certain biological agents or their products or derivatives, must submit applications and/or usage forms and experimental protocols for written approval from the Institutional Biosafety Committee (IBC) prior to beginning work on the project. Projects requiring prior approval include, but may not be limited to, those involving human pathogens (including materials that could contain blood-borne pathogens), those using or constructing organisms having recombinant DNA, and those involving the possession and/or use of agents or toxins subject to regulation under the federal Laboratory Registration and Select Agents Transfer (LR/SAT) Tracking Program.

This policy governs the receipt, storage, transport, use and disposal of hazardous biological agents and materials. It applies to all research, teaching or other activities using hazardous biological materials conducted at the University campus or by University faculty, staff or students when acting as representatives of the University at off-campus locations. In addition, it has been adopted by the University of Arkansas Division of Agriculture for application to all research, teaching or other activities using hazardous biological materials conducted at the Agricultural Experiment Station or by individuals acting as representatives of the Agricultural Experiment Station at off-site locations. This policy does not apply to services provided by the Cooperative Extension Service of the University of Arkansas Division of Agriculture. All projects must conform to the guidelines and requirements set forth in the University of Arkansas Biological Safety Manual, the United States Department of Health and Human Services Biosafety in Microbiological and Biomedical Laboratories, and the National Institutes of Health Guidelines for Research Involving Recombinant DNA. Applications and protocols must be submitted in writing, using the forms available from the Office of Research and Sponsored Programs (RSSP) and Office of Environmental Health and Safety (EH&S). Forms are available here, from the IBC website, or from the RSSP. (Contact information is provided below.)

Experimental protocols must, at a minimum, include the following:

  • description of the agent or toxin and its associated risks, including occupational and public health implications and any provisions regarding immunization and/or medical surveillance;
  • description of methods to be used for handling, containing and storing the agent or toxin with reference to the appropriate containment level;
  • description of the procedures to be used for decontamination of areas, and decontamination and/or disposal of materials generated during or following normal procedures and upon spill or accidental release of the agent or material;
  • description of training and qualifications of identified personnel working on the project;
  • description of measures taken to ensure the security of the area and materials.

All safety-related questions that arise during the course of the project are to be addressed by the principal investigator, working in concert with the BSO. The BSO is to be notified of any major changes in project plan or personnel and the project may be subject to re-review by the IBC at the discretion of the BSO.

Biological Safety Resources: