McMaster University

McMaster University

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Biosafety @ McMaster


Please see the daily news for up to date information on 2019 Coronavirus.

For those handling normal human biological samples, there has been no directive to change the way these samples are handled. Please continue to use the existing protocols and PPE approved by your Supervisor. (March 18, 2020)

For laboratories approved to continue work on Covid19 - using any samples derived from Covid19 patients - at CL2+ please contact Kristen Carrigan for next steps. (March 24, 2020)

All requests for COVID-related research collaborations are being coordinated and run through the McMaster Institute for Infectious Disease Research (IIDR):


Are you approved by VPR to do Covid19 Research that involves biohazards? Please contact the McMaster Biosafety Office. We are using Microsoft Teams to communicate with groups, review SOPs etc.

Cannabis in Research

The use of cannabis is now captured on the Biohazard Utilization Protocol. If you use cannabis for your research, please contact for licensing options.

Sending/Receiving Notifications

It is mandatory to notify the biosafety office and/or customs prior to sending or receiving any CANNABIS OR RELATED MATERIALS, microorganism, fungi, protozoan, parasite, plant, seed, soil sample, prion, toxin, cells, tissues, biological fluids, invertebrates or animals, including those rated as Risk Group (RG) 1.

Please notify through the BUP Portal.

Terminology Change

We are in the process of updating our forms and documents to reflect the terminology used in the Canadian Biosafety Standard. The term Biosafety Level has been changed to 'Containment Level' or 'CL' when referring to labs and practices and to 'Risk Group' or 'RG' when referring to biological hazards.


Applicability Form

Complete and submit this form to have your work evaluated for applicability to the biosafety program and policies.

Laboratory Safety Manual 2019




Updated 07-April-20

Mosaic Training is Still Up and Running!

Please use this time to update your training on Mosaic. Everyone should have at minimum the following trainings:

  • Health & Safety Orientation
  • WHMIS2015 (every 5Y)
  • Biosafety Training or Biohazard Awareness or Routine Practices - we are currently recommending that if you have taken Biosafety Training in 2015 or before, to re-take Biosafety Training.
  • Biosafety Update (every 1Y)
  • Chemical Handling & Spills (every 3Y)
  • Ergonomics (every 5Y)
  • Fire Safety (every 3Y if non-hosptial, every 1Y if hospital)
  • Slips, Trips and Falls (every 5Y)
  • Violence and Harassment Prevention in the Workplace (every 3Y)

Then depending on what your work entails, you would take additional trainings on Mosaic as prescribed by your supervisor.

Too Much Paper?

Please see information related to digital management of compliance paperwork. This is a work in progress. Please forward comments to the Research Compliance Auditor (link on left).

Emergency Response

Emergency response training is required annually by the new Biosafety standards (CBS section 4.3.10).

Each lab's emergency response plan should contain SOPs to address those items listed in CBS section 4.9. An editable SOP has been added to the SOP page.

6-Month Audit Follow Up

The biosafety office has hired a student year-round to follow up on biosafety audits. Please expect to be contacted by this student who will arrange to come back to your lab and verify that all the deficiencies recorded on the original audit have been corrected. Dana Yablonovich is currently performing this function.

Biosafety Training Has Been Updated

This does not refer to BIOSAFE 1BS0 required for undergrad lab courses. Biosafety training for supervisors, PIs, faculty, employees, graduate students, thesis students, lab volunteers, visiting scientists now consists of three courses:

  • Biosafety Training (core, taken once by biohazard lab workers and their Supervisors)
  • Biosafety Update (taken annually by all those who have taken core previously)
  • Biohazard Awareness (taken once for non-biohazard users working in a workspace that contains biohazards)

This training is available through the Human Resources Mosaic module. A FAQ is here.

Video of Manager Access to Employee Training Record

Video of Employee Access to Own Training Record

Labcoat Cleaning

For those who submit labcoats for laundering through HHS/Mohawk services, please see the update in processing here. Please note that although the document refers to FHS, it includes all McMaster campus labs who use this service.

Biosafety Newsletters

Review past issues of the Biosafety Newsletter: Make it your lab culture!

January 2020 Newsletter

Decemeber 2019 Holiday Notice

September 2019 Newsletter

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