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This online version is for convenience; the official version of this policy is housed in the University Secretariat. In case of discrepancy between the online version and the official version held by the Secretariat, the official version shall prevail.

Approved By: President

Original Approval Date: March 28, 2007

Date of Most Recent Review/Revision: January 23, 2017

Office of Accountability: Office of the Vice-President: Finance and Administration

Administrative Responsibility: Safety, Health, Environment and Risk Management


1.00 Wilfrid Laurier University is committed to the safe handling, storage and disposal of biohazardous materials. The policy is designed to ensure the protection of faculty, staff, students and visitors who use biohazardous materials, and to ensure compliance with relevant legislation.


2.00 Biohazardous Materials

Materials that can reasonably be expected to contain infectious materials, organisms or toxins.

2.01 Risk Group Classification

Classification made by the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) to categorize the relative hazards of infectious organisms and is based on characteristics such as pathogenicity, infectious dose, mode of
transmission, host range and availability of preventive measures and treatments.

2.02 Institutional Biosafety Committee

A committee which includes members with expertise in the biosafety field who are tasked with assisting the Biosafety Officer with risk assessment, permit reviews and approvals, disputes about biosafety matters or other biosafety or biosecurity concerns.

2.03 Biosafety Officer

A Biosafety Officer is appointed by the institution to promote and monitor compliance with all aspects of biosafety at the university. The functions, qualifications and powers of the Biosafety Officer are prescribed in the Human Pathogens and Toxins Regulations.


3.00 The biosafety policy applies to staff, faculty, students and visitors who engage in activities involving Risk Group 1 and Risk Group 2 infectious material, organisms and toxins. Activities involving Risk Group 3 or Risk Group 4 infectious material, organisms or toxins are prohibited at Laurier.

3.01 This policy applies to staff, faculty, students and visitors using or culturing materials collected from any human, terrestrial animal, aquatic animal, plant or environmental locale which is reasonably expected to contain infectious materials, organisms or toxins.

3.02 This policy applies to staff, faculty, students and visitors using Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) regulated plant pests such as plants, arthropods or other invertebrates.


4.00 Management of Biosafety and Biosecurity Risks

Wilfrid Laurier University is committed to manage and control biosafety and biosecurity risks with respect to use of biohazardous materials at the institution, and in compliance with the license issued to
the institution by the Public Health Agency of Canada.

4.02 Biosafety Manual

The Biosafety Manual details requirements and procedures established for work with biohazardous materials. Principal investigators must be familiar with and follow the procedures as outlined in the manual. The contents of the manual are based upon legislative requirements and best practices in the biosafety field.

4.03 Biohazardous Materials Permit Application and Approval

An application must be submitted to and approved by the Institutional Biosafety Committee prior to the initiation of any research, testing or teaching by staff, faculty, students and visitors at Laurier that involves biohazardous materials. The application includes a risk assessment of the proposed activities. Applications for visitors must be submitted under the faculty or staff member supervising the project.

4.04 Non-Compliance

Individuals that do not comply with this policy are subject to disciplinary action as per the compliance enforcement detailed in the Biosafety Manual.

Relevant Legislation

Related Policies, Procedures and Documents


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