Biosafety, Biohazards and Bloodborne Pathogens

Work with Recombinant DNA

Individuals or laboratories planning on using recombinant DNA in research must first file an application with the Wake Forest University Institutional Biosafety Committee (IBC). The IBC establishes and maintains a control system for the use and management of biohazards within all campuses of the University. A copy of the approved application must be kept within the laboratory where research is performed.

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) have published NIH Guidelines for Research Involving Recombinant or Synthetic Nucleic Acid Molecules, to be followed when using recombinant or synthetic DNA or RNA in research.  The IBC uses these guidelines during the application approval to ensure all requirements are met.

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) have also published Biosafety in Microbiological and Biomedical Laboratories 5th Edition, in conjunction with NIH, for working with all potential biohazards in the lab.  Laboratories must follow the guidelines as described, and are encouraged to call the EHS Department for guidance and assistance.

Work with Infectious Agents

Work with infectious agents must follow the same IBC approval process as research with recombinant DNA. Risk Group Classification for Infectious Agents.

Shipping Biological Material

Prior to shipping any biological material, the PI or designee must be trained in the packaging, labeling, marking and documenting of hazardous goods for shipment.  The Department of Transportation regulates the shipment of hazardous materials.  This training must be completed and the quiz completed at least once every three years.  The shipper must also complete the WFU Hazardous Material Shipping Form and submit to EHS prior to shipment.

Biohazard Waste Management

If a particular laboratory will be handling large quantities of biohazard materials, a “BIOHAZARD” sign must be placed on the door.

Bloodborne Pathogens

Prior to working with human blood or bodily fluids, lab personnel must be trained in the WFU Exposure Control Plan (ECP). The ECP is designed to eliminate or minimize occupational exposure to Hepatitis B Virus (HBV), Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV), and other bloodborne pathogens.

Sharps & Needles

An annual review must be made of sharps by each PI where sharps are employed to identify opportunities where safer devices may be used.

Additional Biosafety Links


Need to report an unsafe condition or incident?

Phone: 336.758.EHAS (3427)