National Biosafety Stewardship Initiative by Aderemi Dosunmu, Biological Safety Officer
Troubling recent events including the discovery of 50 year old smallpox vials at the National Institutes of Health (NIH), and additional infectious pathogens and toxins found improperly stored in other Federal facilities, have elicited a flurry of news stories and calls for changes in U.S. biosafety oversight programs. This has prompted the NIH to create the National Biosafety Stewardship Initiative. Columbia University is joining other laboratories around the country in promoting biosafety stewardship as well as enhancement of biosecurity in research.
This is an opportunity for researchers to REVIEW, TRAIN, and INVENTORY!
- REVIEW: Re-examine your laboratory protocols, policies and procedures; ensure they accurately reflect the best safety practices when performing work.
- TRAIN: Ensure that all of your staff are trained in safety practices.
- INVENTORY: Perform a thorough review of your laboratory’s cold storage; inventory your stock; dispose of unknown and unneeded infectious material.
EH&S requests that stewardship activities be concluded by December 31, 2014. Field visits from the Biosafety Team will take place throughout the winter to offer assistance and promote completion.
Additional information, including a fillable attestation form is available online: http://www.ehs.columbia.edu/BioStewardship.html
If assistance is needed, please consult EH&S at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Enhanced stewardship will protects not only you and your colleagues, but also the public at large. Your laboratory may even free up valuable freezer space!
Train the Trainer by Christina Clark, Research Safety Specialist and Shane Son, HazardousMaterials Specialist
EH&S has a longstanding partnership with the School of the Arts (SoA), focusing on safety and environmental performance (no pun intended) in the myriad Arts operations, from painting, print making, to film developing, to set making. Recently, EH&S and SoA joined together in a train-the-trainer program to prepare SoA staff to train SoA students in the essential components of safety and environmental management, plus provide SoA staff with tools necessary for them to measure performance to ensure the program achieves it benchmarks.
EH&S greatly appreciates the collaboration from the SoA team and we look forward to growing this program, and hopefully expanding it to other University operations.
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