The primary objective of the Biosafety Program at the University of Tennessee is to ensure a safe working environment for faculty, staff and students.
In pursuit of this goal, our office ensures that laboratory facilities and operations conform to the regulatory requirements as set by: the Institutional Biosafety Committee (IBC) of the University of Tennessee, the state of Tennessee and federal agencies such as the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).
To mitigate the inherent risks associated with the laboratory setting, we seek to build a culture of safe work practices at the university. To do so, we provide a variety of educational opportunities to those involved in the investigation of biological activities in the form of classroom and online training sessions as well as informational modules found within this website.
Our office also seeks to facilitate collaborative outreach between investigators at the University of Tennessee and the larger academic community. To this end, we provide support and training for all areas of shipping and permitting for the import and export of biological materials.
Finally, our office provides a route to properly dispose of both biologically hazardous and regulated medical wastes through our contracted disposal servicer.
Biosafety Office Announcements
Ebola Information and University Preparedness – Posted on 10/30/14
The Student Health Center, Center for International Education, and Office of Emergency Management are monitoring the Ebola outbreak and coordinating preparedness efforts for the campus. These departments are communicating with local, state, and federal health officials about the situation.
The university has a pandemic plan that designates specific departments as responders in the event of a widespread outbreak of any life-threatening disease. Additionally, the Student Health Center has developed an Ebola guide for the campus at http://studenthealth.utk.edu/ebola.
No students have been identified as a risk for the Ebola virus at this time. All official university travel is monitored, and requests to travel to any affected countries are receiving added scrutiny.
Federal Biosafety Initiatives Announcement – Posted on 8/29/14
This week, the White House asked federally funded labs studying infectious agents to take “immediate steps” to inventory samples and review safety and security procedures in light of several well-publicized incidents, exposures and disturbing discoveries occurring in high-profile, high-containment government laboratories. In response, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) has called for a month-long review of policies and procedures, inventory of infectious agents and toxins, and training of all relevant staff. Although federal facilities/laboratories and associated agencies are the primary targets of the “Safety Stand-Down,” institutions receiving funding from federal agencies (e.g. NIH, as does UT) are strongly encouraged to participate in a similar way.
The May meeting has been tentatively scheduled for Wednesday, May 20, 2015 at 3 pm in the Plant Biotechnology Building, Room 410 on the Agriculture Campus. To ensure that renewals and new registration submissions are reviewed during this meeting, please have all submissions emailed to email@example.com by no later than Friday, May 8, 2015.
For IBC Minutes and Annual Report Archives, please click here.
Initial Training Notice
The initial training of Biosafety Principles and Bloodborne Pathogens is done in a class setting. You must register for these classes by completing a registration form on that individual event listed on the events page. Contact the Biosafety Office at (865) 974-5547 if there is a time conflict with your schedule. The Biosafety training is 60 minutes. Bloodborne Pathogen training immediately follows the Biosafety training, and will last about 30 minutes.
The trainings listed on our website are for the University of Tennessee faculty, staff, and students working in laboratories on the Knoxville area campuses. We do not offer training to external entities.
NOTE: If you are an University of Tennessee employee and require a temporary pass to park in Lot 66 for any of the trainings offered through our office, contact the Biosafety Office at (865) 974-5547 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org to make arrangements prior to the training date.
Please see our Events page for a Biosafety Training Schedule.
Other UT Safety Resources
Radiation Safety Office — The use of radioisotopes in a research or clinical setting requires special consideration for the handling and storage of these materials.
Environmental Health & Safety Office — This office is the primary resource for OSHA-related information and support on the Knoxville campus. Programs include: chemical safety, hazardous waste, respiratory protection, emergency contingency plans and more.
Institute of Agriculture Safety Office — This office is the primary resource for OSHA-related information and support on the Institute of Agriculture campus. Programs include: chemical safety, hazardous waste, respiratory protection, emergency contingency plans and more.
Campus Safety — This website provides useful information in the event of an emergency and serves as a reminder about good safety habits.