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The Biosafety Program focuses on compliance issues involving the receipt, use and shipment of biohazards at The Ohio State University.

Biohazards are defined as infectious agents (i.e., pathogens) or materials produced by living organisms that may cause disease in other living organisms. This definition encompasses not only the human pathogens, but also materials that may contain such pathogens (human-, non-human primate-, and other animal- and plant-sourced materials) that can cause disease in humans, animals or plants.

Although the implementation of safety procedures is mainly the responsibility of the Principal Investigator (PI), success in biosafety depends upon the combined efforts of everyone in the laboratory. Planning for and implementation of biological safety must be part of every laboratory activity in which biohazard materials are used.

The Institutional Biosafety Manual provides the university-wide safety guidelines, policies, and procedures for the use and manipulation of biohazards. The OSU Biosafety program consolidates the compliance programs for the Public Employment Risk Reduction Program adoption of the OSHA Hazard Communication Standard (29 CFR 1910.1200), the OSHA Occupational Exposure to Hazardous Chemicals in the Laboratory (29 CFR 1910.1450), the OSHA Occupational Exposure to Bloodborne Pathogens Standard (29 CFR 1910. 1030), the NIH Guidelines for Research Involving Recombinant DNA Molecules (NIH Guidelines) and the CDC/NIH publication Biosafety in Microbiological and Biomedical Laboratories (5th edition). Additionally, the Institution’s Safety Management Guidebook provides University policies for medical surveillance, sharps injuries, and working alone that are to be followed by all principal investigators and laboratory personnel.

These program policies apply to all OSU faculty, staff, hosted visitors, students, participating guests and volunteers, contract laborers, supplemental personnel and employees of firms working at locations where the University has management control of specific biohazards.

For more detailed information, please see the Institutional Biosafety Manual, located on the Manuals webpage.