Biosafety describes the containment principles, technologies, and operational practices that are implemented to prevent unintentional exposure to pathogens or toxins, or their accidental release (Public Health Agency of Canada, 2015). These include physical containment and operational practices for facilities where these materials are handled or stored. Everyone handling infectious material or toxins needs to understand the risks associated with the material they are handling, and ways to prevent exposure of workers and release into the environment. For example, if a pathogen is easily transmitted by aerosols, one would consider how to reduce or contain aerosols, or take added precautions when there is a risk of generating aerosols. The goal of biosafety then is to contain infectious material and toxins safely within the laboratory (workplace) environment.
Biosafety Authorization Application Form (to be added soon)
Any activities conducted at VIU facilities or affiliated institutions that involve biohazardous agents requires a biosafety authorization.
Local Biosafety Risk Assessments (to be added soon)
VIU faculty and staff are required to document their assessments of the risks associated to the hazardous materials they are handling and storing. Working safely with biohazardous agents encompasses not only the people but also the facilities, equipment, procedures used, and the environment. Understanding how all the elements work together is essential for determining the risk of the work being done. It is important for everyone to understand the risks from the hazards including biohazardous materials, chemicals, disinfectants/cleaners, equipment, and environmental emergencies such as spills.
Public Health Agency of Canada Risk Group Database ePATHogen