This section contains obligations on managers in clinical disciplines in the Faculty of Health and managers responsible for laboratories. Biosafety is the maintenance of safe conditions in biological research or other work involving living organisms, body tissue, blood or other bodily substance and includes safety from exposure to infection.
Biological research in laboratories
For information on safety in biological research go to the Office of Research Integrity website. The Biosafety and Biosecurity Officer may be contacted on extension 72705. The Biosafety and Biosecurity Officer consults with the Manager, HWS in the development of guidelines and other health and safety information.
The Biosafety and Biosecurity Officer and the Manager, HWS are both members of the University's Laboratory and Biosafety Committee.
Safety from exposure to infectious agents other than in laboratories
Where a course involves students being placed in clinical settings and dealing with patients, the PVC and heads of the relevant schools must, preferably in conjunction with the clinical placement provider:
- devise and arrange to be delivered to students an induction course into infection control procedure
- include in the course any requirements of the placement provider relating to infection control.
For staff involved in teaching or research off University premises, refer to the work location safety page of this manual.
The Director, Division of Student
Life is responsible for advising on and managing infection control procedures
in regards to public health issues affecting the University. This includes
acting as the University's contact for notifiable diseases, assisting
government health authorities in tracking contacts and public health
emergencies such as pandemics.
Staff appointed as First Aiders must take care to avoid infection. Refer to section on First Aid.
Laboratory and Biosafety Committee (LBC) forms and guidelines
There are number of biosafety issues with general applicability across the University. Specific guidelines are available on:
- handling of human blood, blood products and other body fluids (for undergraduate practical notes-all years)
- notes for courses where finger prick blood samples are taken
- notes for demonstrators, course co-ordinators and technical staff on handling blood and other related materials
- notes for persons handling human body fluids and tissues
- notes for persons authorised for venipuncture in humans
Under the Victorian OHS Act any person who controls or manages matters that give rise or may give rise to risks to health or safety are responsible for eliminating or reducing those risks so far as is reasonably practicable. In the absence of specific OHS requirements covering biosafety this general duty applies. The normal way to control risk is through carrying out a risk assessment before potentially hazardous work is carried out. The following general risk assessment should be modified as necessary to meet the particular situation or process it is being applied to. Further advice can be sought from the Biosafety and Biosecurity Office or the HWS Unit.
- Victorian Government: Public Health and Wellbeing Regulations 2009 (includes the management and control of legionella, infectious diseases, micro organisms and medical conditions)
- WorkSafe Victoria: Handling Cytotoxic Drugs In The Workplace
- BetterHealth Victoria: Needlestick Injury
- Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety: Needlestick and Sharps Injuries
- Vichealth Victoria: Immunisation for health care workers (including laboratory staff)
- Dept of Health Victoria: Blue book - Guidelines for the control of infectious diseases
- WorkCover NSW: Dermatitis (The Facts Starting From Scratch)
- WorkCover NSW: Pregnancy and Work - Guide 2002
- Commonwealth Government: Australian Dangerous Goods Code 7th Edition
- Commonwealth Government: Transport of Infectious Substances
- United Kingdom Health and Safety Executive: Biological Safety
- BioRegs Online offers information about the regulation and development of biotechnology and associated products in Australia.
- Biosafety and genetic manipulation (Research Services)
- Health and Safety Executive (UK): Biological agents: Managing the risks in laboratories and healthcare premises
Classification of biosafety hazards
Where possible the Australian Standard should be used to determine the hazard class for each microbiological agent
- Safety in Laboratories: Microbiological aspects and containment facilities AS/NZS 2243.3:2002
- American Biological Safety Association: Risk group classification for infectious agents
- United Kingdom Health and Safety Executive: The approved list of biological agents