If you have an established Institutional Biosafety Committee (IBC), take advantage of your IBC and keep the meetings interactive. Rather than approaching IBC meetings in a manner that checks a regulatory compliance box, use the meetings to have in-depth conversations about the biosafety program implementation at your facility.
IBC meetings should be held on an annual basis, at a minimum, with additional meetings held as necessary throughout the year. In accordance with regulatory requirements and institutional policy, projects utilizing recombinant DNA technology must be reviewed and approved by a company’s IBC. It is the IBC’s responsibility to review the potential risks to the researchers involved in these projects, and the risks to the environment and public from the work being conducted. This includes reviewing the risk group classifications for the agents in use, the appropriate containment levels, appropriate work practices, training requirements, facility considerations, and effective decontamination procedures.
If there are no changes to the projects during the year, IBC meetings must still be held, and this is a perfect opportunity to make the meeting very interactive. In depth discussions around near misses, incidents, and potential exposures should be held to determine if the established work practices need to be modified to prevent future incidents. The established training program and methods to make the training more effective should be discussed. The waste handling procedures, including effective disinfection procedures, should be reviewed. If various disinfectants are available in the labs, clear guidance on the appropriate disinfectant for each agent must be made.
Take advantage of your IBC and have in-depth interactions with all members!