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Biological Safety Committee



  • The University must convene one Biological Safety Executive Committee three times a year.
  • The committee’s main purpose is to review the progress of all deliberate work with biological material, share best practice and report into the University Health and Safety Committee.
  • The Committee must adopt the terms of reference contained in this document and may also undertake additional duties.

Terms of reference

  • Review reports and statistics relating to incidents, work-related ill health and dangerous occurrences involving deliberate use of biological material, and recommend remedial action where appropriate.
  • Review and advise on biological materials training and its effectiveness.
  • Review the effectiveness of University standards and procedures for work with biological materials and share best practice.
  • Review reports and information provided by inspectors of enforcing authorities.
  • Review arrangements for the security of work with biological materials.
  • Review reports from each Biological Safety Sub-Committee.


  • Each Biological Safety Executive Committee should meet three times a year in advance of the University Health and Safety Committee so it can send salient items up to that agenda.
  • The committee must publish meeting dates at least one term in advance, where staff can see them.
  • Meetings should not be cancelled or postponed except in exceptional circumstances, when the rearranged date should be announced as soon as possible.
  • Responsibility for meeting arrangements and facilitation, as well as taking, recording & distributing minutes lies with the Biological Safety Executive Committee.
  • Co-opted advisers should attend only that section of the meeting to which they are contributing directly
  • Minutes should be circulated to all invited members of the Committee and made available for all staff to view as soon as possible after the meeting.
  • An agenda and draft previous minutes should be sent to all invited members 7 days prior to the committee.

Model Membership

  • Must comprise the Chair of each Biological Safety Sub-Committee and the University Biological Safety Manager (or nominated representative).
  • Each recognised trade union must be invited to nominate safety representatives to attend.
  • The committee must invite an equal membership of managers and trade union safety representatives.

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