Biosafety Policy

Applicable Legislation:

  • Occupational Health and Safety Act of Ontario (OHSA) - WHIMIS Regulations, 0. Reg. 860, R.R.0, 1990
  • Health of Animals Act and Regulations (1990, C21)
  • Human Pathogens and Toxins Act and Regulations (2009, C.24)
  • Plant Protection Act and Regulations (1190 I95-212)
  • Transportation of Dangerous Goods Act and Regulations (1192, c. 34)
  • Health Protection and Promotion Act and Regulations (R.S.0. 1990, Chapter H.7)
  • Canadian Environmental Protection Act, 1999
  • New Substance Notification Regulations (Organisms)

Applicable Standards and Guidelines:

  • Canadian Biosafety Standard (CBS), 2nd ed.
  • Guideline C-4, The Management of Biomedical Waste in Ontario, November 2009
  • NIH Guidelines for Research Involving Recombinant and Synthetic Nucleic Acid Molecules, November 2013
  • Biosafety in Microbiological and Biomedical Laboratories (BMBL), 5th Edition 2009


The intent of this policy is to establish the requirements for ensuring appropriate management of biohazard risks at the University of Guelph.


This policy applies to all faculty, staff, students, visitors, and contractors involved in research, teaching and diagnostic activities using biohazardous materials at the University of Guelph including the regional campus, research stations, and approved University field sites.


  1. All research, teaching, and diagnostic work involving biohazardous materials shall be conducted in a safe manner in order to protect the University community and the community at large.
  2. The University will establish and maintain a Biosafety Program that will manage and rigorously control all biohazardous materials in teaching, research, and diagnostic programs.  The University shall regularly review and make appropriate amendments to the program.
  3. The University will provide appropriate information to pertinent individuals or groups who are occupants of University buildings with biohazardous materials, and information and/or training to those who work with or in close proximity to biohazardous materials.
  4. The University will effectively communicate the provisions of the Biosafety Program to all appropriate workplace parties.
  5. Faculty, staff, students, visitors and contractors at the University shall fully comply with the provisions of the Biosafety Program.
  6. The University shall avoid the use of biohazardous materials if another method or activity can be substituted.  Where the use of biohazardous materials is unavoidable, the least harmful material shall be used.
  7. Where it is required to use or store biohazardous materials, a risk assessment shall be performed to determine precautions and work practices to be implemented. The risk of exposure shall be reduced to as low a level as possible by limiting the number of persons potentially exposed and by the design of work processes and engineering control measures.


Biohazardous Material    

Material which contains organisms that have been shown to cause disease in persons or animals and the toxins of such organisms.


A program of administrative controls, medical surveillance,  vaccination, and containment strategies to reduce or eliminate exposure of laboratory workers, other persons, animals, plants and the outside environment to biohazardous materials.

Engineering controls

Measures to reduce exposure to potential hazards either by isolating the hazard or by removing it from the work environment.  Fume hoods and biocontainment cabinets are typical engineering controls.

Risk Assessment

The qualitative or quantitative estimation of the likelihood of adverse effects that may result from exposure to specified hazards.

Effective: September 2000
Revised: October 2015