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Biology and Wildlife Safety

Safety

In an emergency, call 911 from a safe location.

Biology and Wildlife is committed to laboratory and field safety for all our employees and students.  Learning to work safely and responsibly is part of learning to work in the sciences.  As a department, we strive to provide faculty, teaching assistants, and students access to the resources and training necessary to work effectively and safely.

Biology and Wildlife Lab Supervisor and Safety Coordinator: Dr. Denise Kind, dmkind@alaska.edu, 907-474-6298

Safety Training

The required training provides employees with information needed to work safely and comply with State and Federal regulations.  Contact the B&W Lab Supervisor, 474-6298, if you have questions about required training.

Biology and Wildlife employees who work with students, including all TAs, need to complete:

  1. Employee Safety Training
  2. Hazard Communication GHS
  3. Office Safety (general)
  4. Slips, Trips and Falls
  5. DEAP (click on the Dept EAPs tab, open the DEAPs for each building you work in, read them and submit a quiz for each building) - DEAP training must be renewed annually
  6. Minor Protection Training - there are two required components:  Part A: Protection of Minors Awareness Training and Part B: Protection of Minors Policy and Reporting Procedure Training.  When you complete Part A, save a copy of your certificate and send it to the B&W Lab Supervisor so that your completion can be recorded.
  7. Title IX Training - scroll down to the Title IX Training and follow the directions.  Title IX training must be renewed every 2 years.
  8. FERPA Training - save a copy of your certificate and send it to the B&W Lab Supervisor so that your completion can be recorded. FERPA training must be renewed annually.
Additionally, all TAs and instructors for courses with a laboratory component must complete:
  1. UAF Laboratory Safety Training
  2. UAF Chemical Hygiene Training
  3. UAF Hazardous Waste Management Training
  4. B&W Chemical Hygiene Training (in-person)
All TAs must also complete:
  1. Driver's Safety Training
  2. initial B&W TA orientation (in-person, at the start of the first semester hired as a TA)

Other trainings (e.g. Bloodborne Pathogen, Compressed Gases, Formaldehyde, training on B&W specific SOPs, etc.) may be required depending on the work that you do. It is your responsibility to contact the B&W Laboratory Supervisor, 474-6298, to arrange additional training.  You must complete all training requirements before you begin work.

Resources

Departmental Resources:

B&W Laboratory Supervisor, Safety Coordinator, and Chemical Hygiene Officer:

Dr. Denise Kind, dmkind@alaska.edu , 907-474-6298

B&W Laboratory Manager:

Mr. Mathew Ashby, mrashby@alaska.edu , 907-474-5622

Equipment manuals and guides for various non-hazardous procedures used in the teaching labs are available on a shared Google Drive site. If you are a TA or instructor for a Biology and Wildlife course, you should have access to these through your UAF account. If you cannot access them, e-mail the B&W Laboratory Supervisor.

Hazardous procedures that require an SOP (Standard Operating Procedure) are covered by the B&W Chemical Hygiene Plan (click on the Chemical Hygiene Plan tab above).  For assistance in determining whether a procedure is hazardous and requires an SOP or to have an SOP prepared, contact the B&W Laboratory Supervisor.

UAF Resources:

UAF's EHSRM provides many more resources, which can be accessed by clicking on the links below.

  • documents - sources of additional information about safety and university policy
  • forms you can use to improve the safety of your lab, plan events, etc.
  • additional information about training requirements and resources
  • maintenance of a records database (Intelex) which employees can log into to check their training status
  • many other resources and support for safety and risk management on campus

UAF IACUC  (Institutional Animal Care & Use Committee) - oversees all work with vertebrate animals, including course-related work.  Protocols must be approved well in advance.

UAF IBC  (Institutional Biosafety Committee) - oversees all work involving recombinant DNA, artificial gene transfers, infectious agents and biologically derived toxins. 

UAF IRB  (Institutional Review Board) - oversees all work involving human subjects.

Other Resources:

The American Chemical Society has a good, brief guide for chemical spill response planning .

The National Academies Press has several books that are available as free downloads to anyone who registers as a user (which is also free):

NIH Guidelines for Research Involving Recombinant or Synthetic Nucleic Acid Molecules  (April 2016) - the page includes links to download the publication and also links to FAQs documents.

OSHA 29 CFR 1910.1450 

Please send suggestions for other useful resources to the B&W Laboratory Supervisor.

B&W Chemical Hygiene Plan

Biology and Wildlife's Chemical Hygiene Plan is based on the general UAF Chemical Hygiene Plan prepared by EHSRM. 

The B&W CHP contains the essential information needed to safely work and supervise students in Biology and Wildlife laboratories, and must be read before labs begin.  Students are not expected to read the plan, but must be trained in their responsibilities by the TA and/or instructor for their course.

SOP (Standard Operating Procedure) documents provide instructions, safety precautions and waste management guidelines for hazardous laboratory tasks that are carried out in Biology and Wildlife lab courses.  If you are carrying out a procedure that has an SOP, you must request training in that SOP from the B&W Laboratory Supervisor before carrying out the procedure. 

If you are a TA or instructor for a course and are carrying out a hazardous task that is not covered by the available SOPs, it is your responsibility to notify the B&W Laboratory Supervisor in advance so that an SOP can be developed and approved.  You do NOT need to prepare your own SOP, but will need to provide information needed for the SOP as requested.  SOPs must be approved by the Laboratory Supervisor and EHSRM before the lab activity takes place.

Click on the links below to access the B&W CHP and SOPs. 



Reporting

Emergencies

In an emergency, call 911 from a safe location.  For all emergencies, follow the emergency procedures specified in the Departmental Emergency Action Plan (DEAP).  Document and report the incident after the emergency has been handled by the appropriate emergency personnel.

Injuries and damage to property must be reported both to the B&W Laboratory Supervisor and to EHSRM using the Origami on-line reporting system.  You must log in using your UA credentials to submit a report.  Any injury requiring medical attention must be reported immediately after the emergency has been dealt with.  For an injury to a TA, instructor, or other person paid to assist with teaching the course or lab, select the appropriate employee reporting option.  For an injury to a student, select the non-employee option (students taking a course are students, not employees, in the context of the course). 

If there is a problem in the building that creates a hazard and could harm someone or cause major damage (e.g. an electrical short, a major plumbing leak, etc.), notify Facilities Services at 474-7000 immediately.  Also notify the B&W Lab Manager, 474-5622, and B&W Lab Supervisor, 474-6298.

Non-emergencies

The following must be reported to the B&W Laboratory Supervisor:

  • minor incidents and near-misses in lab.  Even if an incident is minor, it must be reported so that we can detect patterns of minor injuries and put appropriate preventive measures in place. 
  • safety concerns or questions associated with B&W labs.
  • non-emergency problems with B&W lab spaces (e.g. minor drip from a faucet, a light is out, a window shade won't raise or lower, etc.). 

Field work includes both local and remote site work.  The hazards of field work vary depending on the type of work, location of work, and season.  When field work is conducted as part of a course, it is the instructor's responsibility to ensure student safety for the duration of the fieldwork by making sure that that any and all necessary plans, procedures, and training are in place.

Under no circumstances shall a student work alone in the field.

Field Trips

For short, local class field trips, it is relatively simple to make arrangements:

Vehicle Rental

  • course instructor or TA can contact the B&W Laboratory Supervisor to arrange vehicle rental for the date(s) needed.  Students are generally expected to ride with the group rather than drive themselves.
  • the employees who will drive the university vehicle(s) need to meet with the B&W Lab Supervisor to complete required paperwork and driving record check(s).  This must be done at least one week prior to the field trip.  If out-of-state driving records must be obtained, more time should be allowed.   Drivers must read and abide by the UA Transportation Safety Guide and UAF Vehicle Rental Agreement.

Student Accident Insurance

  • the instructor or TA must provide all students in the course who will participate in the field trip with information about the optional student accident insurance
  • the instructor or TA must collect a completed and signed accident insurance election rejection form from each student, indicating whether the student accepts or rejects the coverage.  Students are free to accept or reject the coverage, but each student must fill out the form to provide a record of their decision.  It is the student's responsibility to complete the form completely and legibly: incomplete or illegible forms may not be processed correctly, invalidating the coverage.   
  • the instructor or TA needs to provide the Lab Supervisor with the completed insurance election rejection forms at least 48 business hours prior to the trip.

Course-Related Student Field Projects

Some courses have students work on individual or small group projects that take them into the field.  Even when working on an independent or individual project, a student should never work alone.  Instructors are responsible for documenting field work and emergency plans prior to the initiation of field work to ensure student safety. UAF's EHSRM has several helpful resources instructors can use for this:

Students and employees may find many of these resources useful for planning personal outings as well as university-related ones, and instructors and TAs are encouraged to make students aware of them.

Field Courses or Extended Field Trips

Instructors planning field courses or extended field trips should review the planning materials available through EHSRM's website and contact EHSRM for assistance in the development and approval of a field safety plan.  Vehicle rentals and student accident insurance can be handled as described above for class field trips. 



University of Alaska Fairbanks Department of Biology and Wildlife ©2010-17

101 Murie      907.474.7671       uaf-bw-dept@alaska.edu


UAF is an affirmative action/equal opportunity employer and educational institution.
All images courtesy of UAF Biology & Wildlife unless otherwise noted.
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