McMaster University

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Biosafety @ McMaster

Coronavirus Research

PBAC Implementation Directive: Use of Samples Containing SARS-CoV-2

PBAC has created a new Implementation Directive for use of samples containing SARS-CoV-2. All coronavirus research labs must review the directive for operational practices for handling samples containing SARS-CoV-2, including SARS-CoV-2 RNA and Heat Inactivated virus.  

Laboratories involved in COVID research complete this form to confirm your proposed work is in line with current biohazard approvals. As new materials are handled, this form should be resubmitted.

Laboratories handling human samples must review the directive to assess the likelihood of infecitous samples.

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

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.





Updated 12-Nov-21

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.

Click here for more information

Please notify through the BUP Portal


Biosafety Program Applicability

Are you unsure if your work applies to the Biosafety Program? Please see the Biosafety Program Applicability page for more information.

Additional Information 

  • 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.  

  • Lab Coat 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. 



Everyone should have at minimum the following trainings: 

  • Health & Safety Orientation
  • WHMIS2015 (every 5Y) 

  • Biosafety Training or Biohazard Awareness or Routine Practices - we are 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-hospital, every 1Y if hospital) 

  • Slips, Trips and Falls (every 5Y) 

  • Violence and Harassment Prevention in the Workplace (every 3Y) 
  • Asbestos Awareness (every 5Y)

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

Click here for more information on Biosafety Training.  


Biosafety Newsletters 

All workers listed on a Biohazard Utilization Protocol (BUP) are automatically sent the Biosafety Newsletter. If you do not receive the newsletter this means you are not listed on a BUP. Click here to subscribe the to Newsletter and be added your lab's BUP.

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


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