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Lab Inspections


Laboratory inspections are a requirement for all experiments and teaching activities that are registered with the IBC. These activities may include work with recombinant or synthetic nucleic acids, infectious organisms, and/or biologically-derived toxins. Please refer to What Needs Approval. In order to receive initial approval for research and teaching activities, a current inspection report for the laboratory, facility, or farm where the activity will occur must be on file with the biosafety office. Inspections of biosafety containment level 1 laboratories, facilities, and farms are valid for 5 years. Inspections of biosafety containment level 2 and 3 laboratories, facilities, and farms which are not used for select agent work are valid for 3 years. Biosafety level containment 2 and 3 laboratories and facilities which are used for select agent work must be inspected annually. The investigator is responsible for ensuring that the appropriate inspections are obtained. To schedule an inspection, contact the Biological Safety Officer (BSO) at 744-3203. A pre-inspection will be conducted prior to the official inspection in an effort to answer questions and address any obvious issues.



The following steps will help investigators prepare for the inspections:


  • Take time to sort through your biological materials, including biological samples, cultures, biologically-derived toxins, plasmid, vectors, etc.
  • Verify that all samples are properly identified and stored correctly.
  • Ensure the proper disposal of unwanted materials, including any unidentified or unclaimed material. Environmental Health and Safety (EHS) has a helpful website.

    If at any point select agents are completely removed from an inventory for the purpose of destruction, the PI must contact the BSO prior to destruction. A time will be arranged for the BSO to witness the destruction. Additionally, the Destruction of Inventory form will need to be filled out by the BSO and signed by all involved parties.


  • Written inventories, training records, a chemical hygiene plan, a medical surveillance plan, and safety and security procedures/manuals must be available for inspection.

Information on biosafety containment levels and other guidance is available in the NIH Guidelines and the Biosafety in Microbiological and Biomedical Laboratories (BMBL) 5th Edition. Investigators are encouraged to consult these sources to ensure that their laboratories meet the required standards for sound biosafety.

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