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Biosafety Policy

Area Responsible for Administration: School of Biological Sciences & Applied Chemistry
Approval Authorities: Institutional Biosafety Committee
Central Joint Health and Safety
Senior Executive Committee
Approval Date: January 2018
Revision History: None
Review Timeline: Every 5 Years

Purpose

To outline Seneca’s commitment to administratively manage and control biosafety and biosecurity risks in accordance with the applicable legislation, regulations and standards. This policy serves to protect members of the Seneca community, the public and the environment when biohazardous materials are used in education, applied research or any other Seneca activity.

Scope

This policy applies to all Seneca personnel who handle, store or dispose of biohazardous materials in the context of teaching, applied research and any other Seneca activity using Seneca facilities and/or resources.

Key Definitions

Biohazardous materials

Pathogenic microorganisms and biological matter that may contain them, or parts thereof, including bacteria; viruses; fungi; toxins; genetically modified organisms; nucleic acids; tissue samples and diagnostic specimens.

Biosafety

Containment principles, technologies and practices that prevent the unintentional exposure to, or accidental release of, infectious material.

Biosecurity

Security measures designed to prevent the loss, theft, misuse, diversion or intentional release of pathogens.

Seneca personnel

Seneca faculty, staff and students or individuals using Seneca facilities.

Policy

Seneca is committed to managing and controlling biosafety and biosecurity risks to ensure the protection of students, employees and visitors in all Seneca facilities.

Seneca shall maintain and disseminate the Biosafety Program in accordance with the Human Pathogens and Toxins Act (HPTA), Health of Animals Act and their associated regulations. Seneca’s Biosafety Program shall consist of the following components:

  • Seneca’s Biosafety Policy
  • Seneca’s Plan for Administrative Oversight of Pathogens and Toxins
  • Institutional Biosafety Committee
  • Seneca’s Biosafety Manual
  • Seneca personnel training.

Roles and responsibilities within the Biosafety Program are outlined in the Biosafety Manual and Terms of Reference of the Institutional Biosafety Committee.

The Biosafety Manual shall outline biosafety and biosecurity policies and procedures, describe safe work practices for biohazardous materials and containment facilities and training requirements. The Manual shall be readily available to Seneca personnel.

Seneca shall maintain internal accountability through biosafety and biosecurity risk assessments, an internal permitting system, internal compliance checks/audits and maintenance of a biohazardous materials inventory.

Violation of this policy may result in penalties as outlined in the HPTA, including revocation of Seneca’s HPTA license and the inability to conduct teaching or research involving biohazardous materials.

Supporting Documentation

  • None

Related Seneca Policies

  • None

Related Materials