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Fort Lewis College Official Seal

Policy identification number: 

File: Safety & Health Policies


Policy Summary

To ensure safe planning for the handling of biological agents, safe research behavior, safe disposal of infectious laboratory wastes and compliance with College policies and procedures, state laws and national regulatory standards.

Policy Owner


Approval Date

June 6, 2018

Effective Date

June 6, 2018

Search Terms

biosafety vpfa b

Scheduled for Review

Spring 2023

I. Policy Statement

All College research and instructional activities involving biohazardous materials must be reviewed and approved by the Biosafety Committee prior to the use of any such materials. The Biosafety Committee has the responsibility to protect faculty, staff, students, visitors, and the local community and environment in regards to all research activities.  Projects submitted for external review must be submitted for review by the Biosafety Committee prior to acceptance of funding.


  1. The Provost (or designee) appoints members of the Biosafety Committee as outlined in the Fort Lewis College Biosafety Program document. The Biosafety Committee has the responsibility of assessing dangers and potential environmental impacts associated with investigations involving biological agents and making recommendations for safe conduct of such studies.  The Biosafety Committee also functions on behalf of Fort Lewis College to ensure that the experimental work is performed in compliance with current laws.
  2. The Biological Safety Officer represents the Environmental Health and Safety office and is primarily responsible for continuity and compliance of the biosafety program at Fort Lewis College.
  3. Laboratory supervisors (Principal Investigators - PI) are expected to be familiar with relevant safety guidelines described in the Biosafety Program, the Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) included with the Biosafety Program and national best practices that pertain to the biological agent in use.  The PI shall personally monitor and be responsible for the day-to-day operation of the biosafety lab, and to take all necessary steps for protection of staff, students, and the general public against undesirable consequences of experimental work conducted at Fort Lewis College, and/or during field studies.
  4. Department chairpersons are responsible for the general safety of faculty, staff and students working with biohazardous agents in the department.

II. Reason for Policy 

To insure faculty, staff and students are cognizant of this policy and to insure compliance with federal and state regulations, following national best practices and mitigation of risk in work areas where biohazardous materials are used.

III. Responsibilities 

For following the policy: All employees and students

For enforcement of the policy: Biosafety Committee, Biological Safety Officer

For oversight of the policy: Provost and Vice President for Finance and Administration

For notification of policy: Policy Librarian

For procedures implementing the policy: Department Chairs of Biology and Physics/Engineering

IV. Consequences of Non-Compliance

The department chair in consultation with the dean will determine appropriate consequences for non-compliance according to the provisions in the Faculty Handbook, Part II, Section 17, “Dismissal and other Disciplinary Actions.” Disciplinary action up to and including termination as described in the Classified Employees Handbook, Exempt Employees Handbook.

V. Procedures

Biosafety Program - Approved 06-06-18.pdf

VI. Cross-Referenced Policies

A.   Fort Lewis College Biosafety Program

B.   National References

a. CDC Biosafety in Microbiological and Biomedical Laboratories (BMBL)


b. NIH Guidelines for Research Involving Recombinant or Synthetic Nucleic Acid Molecules (NIH Guidelines)