Health and Safety

Health and Safety

Memorial University's Office of Environmental Health and Safety is responsible for laboratory and radiation safety, biosafety, hazardous material control and waste disposal in the Faculty of Medicine. The Health and Safety Management System (HSMS) provides a framework to enable compliance with occupational health and safety legislation and university policies and procedures.  

Laboratory Safety

Laboratory Safety Information - includes Laboratory Safety Manual, relevant forms and laboratory inspection checklist

For general inquiries regarding laboratory safety, contact or call 864-3786. 


A biologically hazardous material or agent (“biohazard”) is defined as an organism or the component of an organism that poses a health risk to humans, animals or plants. Research involving biologically hazardous material or agents is monitored by Memorial University's Institutional Biosafety Committee. The definition of "biohazard" applies to, but is not limited by, the following list of biologically hazardous materials and agents. The list is obtained, in part, from Workplace Hazardous Materials Information System (WHMIS) Class D, Division 3, the Human Toxins and Pathogens Act and the Transportation of Dangerous Goods Regulations and includes:  

  • Viruses, fungi, parasites, bacteria.
  • Toxic metabolite products of virus, fungi, parasites & bacteria (microbial toxins).
  • Cell lines and other tissue culture.
  • Fixed and unfixed tissues and tissue specimens from non-human primates and humans.
  • Cells, blood and body fluids from non-human primates and humans.
  • Nucleic acids derived from pathogens, human oncogenes, and transformed cell lines.
  • Zoonotic agents.
  • Genetically Modified Organisms (GMO), which includes genetically altered plants.
  • Plant pathogens and pests (i.e. viruses, bacteria, nematodes, etc.).
  • Prions.
  • Wild animals, including cells, tissues and body fluids.

Where questions arise as to whether an organism or biological agent is defined as a biohazard, please consult the Public Health Agency of Canada's Canadian Biosafety Standard or the Laboratory Biosafety and Biosecurity’s web siteor forward the questions to Memorial's Biosafety Control Officer.  
Faculty members intending to utilize biohazardous agents are required to obtain approval in the form of a biosafety certificate from the Institutional Biosafety Committee prior to usage. Faculty members should review Memorial University's Biological Safety Manual which outlines biohazard laboratory safety protocols, responsibilities of the principal investigator, pathogen classifications and containment levels. For information about biohazardous waste and autoclave use, view the Biosafety Standard Operating Procedures

The Radiation & Biosafety Control Officer administers the Laboratory Biosafety Guidelines on behalf of the Committee. The Radiation & Biosafety Control Officer can be contacted at or by phone at 864-8250. 

Radiation Safety

Memorial University holds a consolidated radioisotope licence issued by the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commissioncovering all use of radioactive materials on University premises and in other locations where Memorial University personnel are involved. Faculty members intending to acquire and utilize radioactive material are required to obtain approval in form of a radioisotope user permit from the University Radiation Safety Committee (URSC) prior to usage. Faculty members using or planning to use radioactive materials should review Memorial University's Radiation Safety Manual which includes responsibilities of permit holders and authorized users and how to add new users. 

Radioactive material inventory, permits and waste disposal are managed by the Health and Safety Management System Software (HSMS). This web-based system is accessible through Contact the Radiation & Biosafety Control Officer for more information.

The Radiation & Biosafety Control Officer administers Memorial’s Radiation Safety Program on behalf of the University Radiation Safety Committee. The Radiation & Biosafety Control Officer can be contacted at or by phone at 864-8250. 

Hazardous Waste Disposal

Many chemicals are considered hazardous waste and need to be disposed of properly. Environmental Health and Safety offers hazardous waste pick-up the first Wednesday of every month. To avail of this, faculty members need to submit the hazardous waste disposal form to Environmental Health and Safety. See their website for more information. 

For emergency waste disposal pick-up, contact 864-3786 during regular business hours. On week-ends or after-hours, call CEP at 864-4100.