This online version is for convenience; the official version of this policy is housed in the University Secretariat. In case of discrepancy between the online version and the official version held by the Secretariat, the official version shall prevail.
Approved By: President
Original Approval Date: March 28, 2007
Date of Most Recent Review/Revision: June 7, 2022
Office of Accountability: Office of the Vice-President: Finance and Administration
Administrative Responsibility: Safety, Health, Environment and Risk Management
1.00 Wilfrid Laurier University is committed to the safe handling, storage and disposal of biohazardous materials. The policy is designed to ensure the protection of faculty, staff, students and visitors who use biohazardous materials, and to ensure compliance with relevant legislation.
2.01 Biosafety: Containment principles, technologies, and practices that are implemented to prevent the unintentional exposure to Infectious Materials.
2.02 Biosecurity: Security measures to prevent the loss, theft, misuse, diversion, or intentional release of Infectious Materials and other related assets such as personnel, animals, equipment, and information.
2.03 Infectious Materials: Microorganisms, proteins, and nucleic acids, as well as any biological matter that may contain microorganisms, proteins, nucleic acids that is considered a human or animal pathogen and therefore, poses a risk to human or animal health.
2.04 Risk Group Classification: Classification made by the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) to categorize the relative hazards of infectious organisms and is based on characteristics such as pathogenicity, infectious dose, mode of transmission, host range and availability of preventive measures and treatments.
2.04.01 Risk Group 1 Infectious Materials: Materials that are capable of causing human and animal disease but are unlikely do so. These materials pose low individual and community risk.
2.04.02 Risk Group 2 Infectious Materials: Materials that are able to cause serious disease in humans and animals but are unlikely to do so as effective treatment and preventative measures are available and the risk of spread of disease is low. These materials pose a moderate individual risk and a low community risk.
2.04.03 Risk Group 3 Infectious Materials: Materials likely to cause serious disease in humans and animals. Effective treatments are usually available and the risk of spread is low for the public. These materials pose a high individual risk and a low community risk.
2.04.04 Risk Group 4 Infectious Materials: Materials that are likely to cause serious disease in humans and animals, which can often lead to death. Effective treatments and preventative measures are not usually available and the risk of spread is high for the public. These materials pose a high individual and community risk.
2.05 Institutional Biosafety Committee: A committee which includes members with expertise in the Biosafety field who are tasked with assisting the Biosafety Officer with risk assessment, permit reviews and approvals, disputes about Biosafety matters or other Biosafety or Biosecurity concerns.
2.06 Biosafety Officer: A Biosafety Officer is appointed by the institution to promote and monitor compliance with all aspects of Biosafety at the University. The functions, qualifications and powers of the Biosafety Officer are prescribed in the Human Pathogens and Toxins Regulations.
2.07 Human Pathogens and Toxins License: A license granted by the Public Health Agency of Canada to an institution to authorize the use, handling, and storage of certain risk group Infectious Materials.
2.08 Members of the University Community: Persons who currently work or study (in person or online) on any Laurier campus. Members include students (including student groups), employees, adjunct and visiting faculty, and volunteers at Laurier.
2.09 Biosafety Manual: This document details requirements and procedures established for work with Infectious Materials. The contents of the manual are based upon legislative requirements and best practices in the Biosafety field.
Materials that can reasonably be expected to contain infectious materials, organisms or toxins.
3.01 This policy applies to Members of the University Community and visitors who engage in the storage and handling of Risk Group 1 and Risk Group 2 Infectious Materials. Activities involving Risk Group 3 or Risk Group 4 Infectious Materials are prohibited as Wilfrid Laurier’s Human Pathogens and Toxins License does not permit the handling and storage of organisms above Risk Group 2.
3.02 This policy applies to Members of the University Community and visitors using or culturing materials collected from any human, terrestrial animal, aquatic animal, plant or environmental locale which is reasonably expected to contain Infectious Materials.
3.03 This policy applies to staff, faculty, students and visitors using Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) regulated plant pests such as plants, arthropods or other invertebrates.
4.01 Biosafety and Biosecurity risks uses within the University with respect to use of Infectious Materials at the institution, must be managed in compliance with the Human Pathogens and Toxins Act.
4.02 Principal Investigators must be familiar with and follow the procedures as outlined in the Biosafety Manual.
4.03 An application must be submitted by the University to and approved by the Institutional Biosafety Committee prior to the initiation of any research, testing or teaching by staff, faculty, students and visitors at Laurier that involves Infectious Materials.
4.04 Individuals that do not comply with this policy are subject to disciplinary action as per the compliance enforcement detailed in the Biosafety Manual.