It is important for anyone working with biological agents to have the correct training, competence and supervision.
Every department that works with biological agents needs to assess whether they meet the requirements to appoint specialist roles. There are three key roles to be considered:
- Genetic Modification Safety Officer (GMSO)
Every department working with any type of genetically modified material (Class 1 or above) must have at least one appointed GM Safety Officer (GMSO).
The role includes:
- To advise the HoD through the HSC if the GMSO is aware that risk assessments are not in place for work in their area, and to provide the departmental HSC with relevant information on request.
- Understanding the biological risk assessment approval and review process (add link), including how classification is determined (link)
- Acting as a ‘specialist authoriser’ for quality control of departmental biological risk assessment before also approving them. This role does not remove any responsibility for the risk assessment content from the PI or controller of the research. A ‘specialist adviser’ assists the Approver by ensuring the risk assessment is fully completed with the information required for competent experts in Safety Services or the GMBSSC to audit or review them (link to RA content). Providing good quality risk assessments reduces the risk of delays to PIs or research leads when the risk assessment is passed to the GMBSSC or the external authorities when notification of work is needed.
- When requested by the GMBSSC, to communicate their output to the researchers in the Department / Faculty.
- Reporting and communicating escalations from the researchers and Department to the local GMBSSC member when requested.
- Facilitating the sharing of good practices and share learnings from incidents or accidents within the department or shared from the GMBSSC.
- Being the point of contact for queries in their department, or other departments within the faculty, where there isn’t a local GMSO available. Further support is available from the Biochem mailbox (link)
- CL3 Manager
Every department that manages a CL3 zone at UCL must assign someone as the lab manager. Best practice is to have deputies for each additional CL3 zone that they manage, in addition to CL2 Lab Managers to carry out a similar roles for the labs containing equipment to carry out Class 2 or Hazard Group 2 work.
The role includes:
- providing oversight that the requirements for working at CL3
- recording the competence of the users to include; induction, spill and specific training for activities
- ensuring maintenance is carried out and recorded for the CL3 lab
- ensuring that operational procedures are in place and being followed
- recording inspections
Responsible for ensuring the following documents are in place
- Codes Of Practice (COP)
- Standard Operating Procedures (SOP)
- Training records for CL3 users
- Equipment manuals
- Maintenance records for Equipment
- Calibration and Validation records
- Statutory testing records for Autoclaves and Micor Biological Safety Cabinets (MSC)
- Permissions letters are kept
- Manager of employees with risk of exposure to Lab Animal Allergen (LAA)
The manager of an employee who is exposed to animals or animal dander has a significant risk of developing occupational asthma or occupational dermatitis must:
- complete a job hazards form for the new starter
- contact Workplace Health to ensure that every user is under a suitable health surveillance schedule for the work
- ensure all employees are regularly face fit tested
- ensure that the controls in place are working
Departments may need to assign additional roles, including:
- Face Fit Tester
- Dangerous Goods Packer/Shipper
Anyone assigned one of these roles must be added to the department's Responsible Person Register and assigned the relevant department and location in riskNET.
Last updated: Thursday, December 15, 2022
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