Health and Safety

The UM Department of Laboratory Services monitors the biological, chemical, occupational, and radiological safety of the campus. The department publishes manuals related to these safety issues; provides training and education materials to faculty, staff, and students, as appropriate; reviews and approves research protocols related to these issues before research commences; and signs the UM Transmittal Sheet to indicate researchers’ compliance with UM and federal regulations in proposals that are submitted to external sponsors for support.

University Safety Manuals

University Safety Manuals — including the Biological, Chemical, Occupational, and Radiological Safety Manuals — list all University policies and procedures for the conduct of research in the laboratories of the University. Copies of the manuals are located in departmental offices, in appropriate laboratories, and in the Department of Laboratory Services.

Safety Training Courses

Current University policies state that before any work is begun, safety training is required of anyone using chemicals, biological agents, or radioactive isotopes and/or radiation sources. In addition to the safety training, safety examinations must be passed in the areas of chemical, biological, and radiological safety. For those persons working with pathogens, DNA, and human body parts and fluids, additional safety training is required. Researchers should contact the Department of Health and Safety regarding time and availability of training courses.

Review and Approval of Research Protocols

Department of Health and Safety review and approval is required on research protocols involving biological, chemical, occupational, or radiological safety, prior to the start of the research. Research protocols involving carcinogenic materials, biological or chemical hazards, radioactivity, or radiation must be submitted to The Department of Health and Safety.

Research involving pathogens, DNA, and/or human body parts and fluids requires approval of the Institutional Biosafety Committee (IBC), an institution-wide committee. The researcher must submit an IBC Memorandum of Understanding and Agreement for Research Involving Recombinant DNA, or Organisms Pathogenic to Humans, Animals, or Plants and protocol to the ORSP Division of Research Integrity and Compliance, which forwards these materials to DHS and IBC for approval.

Note: The Department of Laboratory Services must sign the UM Transmittal Sheet if research proposed for external funding involves any of the above-mentioned environmental safety issues. Researchers should coordinate review with the Department of Laboratory Services. Failure to process the protocol review and receive approval may delay the processing of the proposal or the start-up of the project.

To determine the appropriate procedures for the conduct of research that involves biological, chemical, occupational, and radiological safety, contact the Director, Department of Laboratory Services (915-5433).