Reporting a Biological Exposure or Release Event

The UW-Madison Institutional Biosafety Committee (IBC) requires that Principal Investigators report all potential exposures to or, releases of organisms or biological toxins within 24 hours of the event (IBC-Policy-005). Any potential exposure to, or release of recombinant DNA materials and/or biohazardous materials, shall be reported using the UW-Madison, Office of Biological Safety First Report of Exposure or Release form within 24 hours of the incident.

Potential exposures and releases include but are not limited to: needle sticks, animal bites, aerosol exposures, exposures to pathogenic and recombinant non-pathogenic organisms, other incidents potentially resulting in disease, as well as spills outside primary containment and potential releases to the environment. Unauthorized releases of transgenic animals or plants should also be reported on this form.

Anyone can submit the form, although it is preferred that a PI, lab manager or other senior lab member report the incident. When submitted, this report form provides the Office of Biological Safety and the Occupational Health Program with information to ensure proper actions have been taken, including appropriate medical care, as applicable.

The Biological Safety Officer or designee will determine whether the incident should be reported to any agencies outside the UW-Madison and in what time frame. Any incidents that are reported to the NIH Office of Biotechnology Activities (NIH/OBA) will also be reported to the IBC at the next convened meeting.

It is not the intent to make the lab and/or PI look bad and reporting of an incident will not be held against a PI. It is, however, intended to make sure that individuals involved are properly trained and receive the required medical treatment, if necessary, at the time of the potential exposures or release.

UW-Madison, State, and Federal authorities recognize that we do a lot of research and that accidents will happen. We simply want to keep our most valuable commodity, our personnel, safe and in good health!