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Research Related Regulations, Policies & Procedures

10.2 Safety

The University Office of Environmental Health & Safety (EHS) interprets national, state and local regulations related to occupational and environmental health and safety. EHS provides guidance and support to University operations and advises senior administration on business aspects of environmental health and safety.

10.2.1 Biological Safety

It is the PI’s responsibility to adhere to the University's controls and safe handling practices for microorganisms (viruses, bacteria, fungi, rickettsia, mycoplasma, protozoans, multicellular parasites, and prions), toxins, recombinant DNA and synthetic nucleic acids molecules, human blood or tissues, and animal cell cultures. This applies to all University of Utah research performed at the medical center, main campus or at off campus facilities. Students, as well as part and full time employees, must comply with these controls and practices.

It is the Principal Investigators responsibility to:

  • Receive approval from the Institutional Bio-safety Committee (IBC) prior to conducting r-DNA research.
  • Register potentially infectious agents with Environmental Health and Safety Department.
  • Maintain and annually review laboratory specific standard operating procedures (e.g., blood borne pathogen exposure control plan).
  • Ensure their research laboratory staff and students are trained on the contents of Bio-safety program and follow its requirements.
  • Survey laboratories for compliance with standards and policies regarding safe handling and use of biological agents and toxins.
  • Enforce compliance with the approved standards and policies of the University.
  • Encourage employees to report any changes in their health status.
  • As applicable, advise the Institutional Bio-safety Committee (IBC), Institutional Review Board for Research with Human Subjects (IRB), Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC), and Environmental Health and Safety of any significant changes in approved protocol involving use of biological agents and/or toxins.
  • Comply with shipping requirements for biohazard substances and toxins.

It is the researchers', technicians' and students responsibility to:

  • Adhere to the established policies, standard operating procedures, and guidelines for biological safety as trained.
  • Inform immediate supervisor of any unsafe practice or conditions in the work area.
  • Report any change in health status to the supervisor if there is a possibility it may be work related.
  • Report all biological spills and incidents to the supervisor.

10.2.2 Radiation Safety

The Radiation Safety Office oversees the use of all radioactive material and ionizing radiation-producing devices at the University in accordance with federal and state radiation control regulations and according to the University's broad scope radioactive materials license issued by the State of Utah. Radiation programs, periodic laboratory surveys, program audits and specific radiation safety assistance provided to research and teaching faculty, staff, students and visitors.

The Office of Radiation Safety's Radiation Safety Policy Manual and Training Opportunities conveys the official policies of the University of Utah for the control of all sources of, and exposures to, ionizing radiation that are within the jurisdiction of the University. The manual defines responsibilities of individuals and organizations for radiation control, it specifies the policies that guide specific decisions on radiation control matters, and it provides general safety rules and procedures that are obligatory for all users of radiation sources. Additional requirements and procedures not included in this manual are developed, promulgated and enforced as necessary to implement the overall philosophy and policies for radiation protection.

Last Updated: 12/1/22