A RAPid alert from the U-M Office of Research.
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A Call to Action for U-M Laboratories

A message from the U-M Office of Research and the Institutional Biosafety Committee

Laboratory biosafety

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) has declared September 2014 to be National Biosafety Stewardship Month. During this time, all Federal laboratories will evaluate their own safety practices and procedures for biological research.

As recommended by the NIH initiative, we are asking all University of Michigan laboratories (see Memo from Friday, September 5, 2014) where biological research is performed to conduct an inventory of infectious agents and toxins in the lab during the month of September and to provide a short report to the Institutional Biosafety Committee (IBC) by Friday, October 3, 2014. 

We ask that each laboratory, regardless of biosafety level, set aside time this month to complete this process. In addition to the inventory, be sure to review biosafety policies and procedures to ensure best practices are consistently implemented, and review the training status of each individual performing research in the laboratory to ensure that he or she is prepared to conduct the work safely. 

Inventory Report Details

After you perform the inventory and review your laboratory's procedures and training, please send a short report containing the following to IBCinventory@umich.edu by Friday, October 3, 2014:

  1. Name of principal investigator responsible for laboratory,
  2. Location of laboratory (room/building),
  3. Date that inventory and review was completed,
  4. List of infectious agents and toxins stored or used in laboratory OR indication that there are none, and
  5. Biosafety contaminant level (BSL) of laboratory.
Our IBC and Occupational Safety and Environmental Health (OSEH) teams will work with you to resolve any issues that may arise in this process.
Participating in this stewardship activity will help to ensure the accuracy of U-M records of infectious agents and toxins that are being utilized or stored, as well as confirm that these are maintained under the appropriate containment conditions and that there is a responsible party identified for these materials in each laboratory.


S. Jack Hu, Interim Vice President for Research
James Ashton-Miller, Associate Vice President for Research - Research Policy and Compliance
Philip C. Hanna, Chair, Institutional  Biosafety Committee
Terrance G. Alexander, Executive Director, Occupational  Safety and Environmental Health


For guidance on proper handling, storage, or disposal methods of materials in the lab contact OSEH at 647-1143, or OSEHBiosafety@umich.edu.

For materials that need immediate special handling, please contact the Biosafety Officer at 647-3133.

Additional questions about this process can be directed to the IBC at 936-3934, or ibcquestions@umich.edu. To assist you we have compiled a brief list of "points to consider" in preparing your inventory.  

Additional Information and Resources:

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