Find information about the services and guidance we provide the University of Kansas Medical Center.
The goal of the Biological Safety program is to work collaboratively with university faculty, staff and students engaged in research and teaching activities to promote the safe handling/use of biohazardous materials and proper disposal of biohazardous waste. Biosafety inspections, risk assessments, training and consultation on microbiological work practices, safety equipment and facility design are program components to ensure the containment of biohazardous materials and protection of laboratory workers, the public and the environment.
This page is an overview of the basic daily procedures and requirements for the use and handling of biohazardous materials at KUMC. Biohazardous materials include all biological materials in a laboratory or medical setting and present a potential risk to human health. Please refer to the KUMC Biosafety Plan for a more detailed discussion on biosafety.
Some common categories of biohazardous materials are:
- Tissue/cell culture products
- Bacterial cultures
- Most proteins that have been produced in a laboratory.
- Bodily fluids (animal or human)
- Animal or human tissues
Biohazardous materials are common to most labs on the KUMC campus. All researchers should be trained in proper handling techniques, personal decontamination, and basic equipment decontamination appropriate for the materials being used in their labs.
Biosafety cabinets must be certified for use with BSL (Bio-Safety Level) of the materials you are using, and must have up-to-date inspections. Individual laboratories arrange for inspections by contacting the EHS office at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Personal protective garments must be worn properly and must be suitable to the level of risk.
Decontamination solutions must be easily accessible in all areas in which biohazardous materials are used, and must be suitable to the materials being used in that area.
Select Agent & Toxins
Research that is conducted using materials that are considered Select Agents and/or Toxins must be approved through the EHS office prior to study initiation and obtaining the agent of toxin. Please contact the EHS immediately if you plan to work with such material or are currently working with this material. Although there are some Select Toxins that are exempt from the Select Agent Regulations, they must still be monitored.
Please consult the Biological Waste Disposal Instructions for more information about the disposal of biohazardous waste.
One of the best sources for information on chemical safety at KUMC is the Chemical Hygiene Plan.
EHS is required (by Federal Regulations - EPA) to ship hazardous/chemical waste off-site within 90 days of it being declared waste. For this reason, it is very important that EHS is contacted immediately after designating it as waste. Hazardous chemical waste is defined as chemical material that can no longer be used for its intended purpose and is known to be harmful or potentially harmful to human health or to the environment.
If you aren't sure whether your material is hazardous chemical waste or non-hazardous chemical waste, contact the EHS office and we will provide you with the proper guidance.
The EHS office and Radiation Safety Officers are committed to ensuring radiation workers receive any assistance necessary to keep their radiation exposure as low as they reasonably can. We strive to be a resource that workers can contact at any time and be assured that they will receive clearly communicated, effective, and friendly advice on any radiation safety needs.
- Working with Radioactive Materials
- Learning about Radiation
- Regulations, Licenses, Manuals and other Resources
View myKUMC Radiation Safety (login required)
The EHS Occupational Safety Program strives to ensure and promote a healthy and safe work environment. We do this by conducting work site evaluations, managing the Universities Medical Surveillance Program, and by providing awareness and training for work place hazards.
- Indoor Air Quality Assessments
- Noise Surveys and Training on Hearing Protection
- General Work-site Evaluations
- Respiratory Fit Testing and Training
- Ergonomic Workstation Evaluations
- Recommendations on OSHA related regulations
Assessing Workplace Occupational Health Risks
The Environmental Health and Safety Office will work with individuals, supervisors and the Hospital's Occupational Health Clinic to assess occupational exposures, and to recommend appropriate control measures. Providing as much information as possible is important to an accurate assessment as Occupational Hazards can be difficult to quantify or predict with certainty. Hazards can vary significantly based on a number of different factors including:
- Type of hazard
- The dose of exposure
- The duration of exposure
- Route of exposure
- Individual susceptibility
- Combined effect of multiple hazards