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As a leading research, medical, and educational institution, The Florida State University is morally and legally obligated to provide a safe working environment for all its employees, students, and guests.

With the great diversity of activities on campus, it is impossible for any one laboratory to have defined standard operating procedures (SOPs) for every possible activity related to biological safety. For this reason, these resources have been developed to provide information that can be used to protect workers and the surrounding environment from possible exposure to biohazardous agents.

These online resources make it possible to construct a general framework that can be used by individual departments or laboratories. They are designed to provide general information applicable to most laboratories, with specific information and procedures to be added as needed for each laboratory. Implementation of these procedures is the responsibility of the Principal Investigator and depends largely on the efforts of PI's, supervisors and employees. It is essential that staff and students seek additional advice and training when dealing with biohazardous agents to assure the safety of employees, students and the surrounding community. To assist in this, the services and resources of the Department of Environmental Health & Safety (EH&S) are available.

The Biological Safety Office has developed these resources based on guidelines developed by the Center for Disease Control (CDC) and the National Institute of Health (NIH), Biosafety in Microbiological and Biomedical Laboratories (5th edition); 2009, (BMBL), with the endorsement of the University's Biological Safety Committee. It is intended to provide information to protect workers and the surrounding environment from possible exposure to biohazardous agents. The information also serves to protect experiments and research by controlling the unwanted spread of contamination.

The premise is that no experiment should be considered so important that it jeopardizes the well-being of the worker or the environment. The planning and implementation of safety protocols to prevent laboratory-acquired infections and to eliminate the spread of contamination must be part of every laboratory's routine activities.

The handling of biological agents and recombinant DNA requires the use of precautionary measures dependent on the agents involved and the procedures being performed. It is the purpose of these resources to provide background information and guidelines to be used in conjunction with other resources for the evaluation, containment and control of biohazardous materials in the research laboratory.

The Biological Safety Office can be reached at 644-5374 or 644-9117.


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