Laboratory Safety

WVSOM is committed to providing a safe working environment for its researchers.  WVSOM achieves this goal through multiple programs, plans and committees, as described below.  Any laboratory safety incidents should be promptly reported to the Human Resources (HR), utilizing the appropriate form.

Principal Investigators (PIs) are responsible for ensuring the use of safe practices by all personnel in their labs, as well as training personnel on lab specific practices.  See the sections below for more information, or contact the ORSP.

Laboratory Safety Programs, Committees, and Resources

Research Laboratory Chemical Safety

WVSOM has established the research laboratory chemical hygiene plan (CHP) in accordance with OSHA regulation 29 CFR 1910.1450.  Below are links to WVSOM's CHP, templates for PIs and external content.

Research Laboratory Biological Safety

Biological safety is achieved through multiple plans, as described below.

Research Laboratory Security

WVSOM has procedures in place to address the security of research laboratories.  Only authorized personnel are permitted access to research laboratories.  The WVSOM Safety and Security Committee reviews safety and security practices on campus and is advisory to the Vice President for Finance and Facilities.
For more information, see the WVSOM Safety and Security overview webpage.

Institutional Biosafety Committee

Biological samples may be potentially hazardous.  The Institutional Biosafety Committee (IBC) makes recommendations to the WVSOM administration regarding best practices to ensure that potential biological hazards are identified, contained, and utilized properly.  This ensures the safety of WVSOM employees and students, as well as visitors who may be in areas with potential biological hazards.  The IBC makes recommendations on work with Biological hazards, OSHA Bloodborne pathogens, and Infectious medical waste as described below, and makes determinations regarding work with rDNA.

OSHA Bloodborne Pathogens Guidelines and Exposure Control Plan

The Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA) Bloodborne Pathogens (BBP) standard (29 CFR 1910.1030) describes safeguards that employers must provide to protect employees against health hazards posed by BBP.  Part of the standard is a requirement for an exposure control plan, universal precautions, engineering and work practice controls, personal protective equipment, etc.  WVSOM's Exposure control plan is provided below, as well as links to reference guides by OSHA.

WVSOM BBP Guidelines & Exposure Control Plan
OSHA BBP Safety and Health Topic Home page
OSHA Fact Sheet on BBP
OSHA Quick reference guide to the BBP standard

Infectious Medical Waste Management Plan

WVSOM has established an infectious medical waste plan in accordance with the state of West Virginia's rule 64 CSR 56 and OSHA's Exposure to Bloodborne pathogens.

IACUC Occupational Health and Safety Program

WVSOM has established an occupational health and safety program (OHSP) as part of its overall program of animal care and use. 

Additional Laboratory Safety Resources

The National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS), an Institute of NIH, provides a wealth of training resources for general laboratory safety.  Please review the resources here for additional information, training, and responsible conduct of research.