Health & Safety



  • All users are required to take our autoclave training course before using the autoclaves
  • Look for sign up sheets for the course posted in the autoclave rooms
  • Courses will be offered periodically (3 times a year – January, May, September)
  • Instructions are posted on the walls for the autoclave rooms, but please ask for help if you are not sure how to operate these machines or if there is any problem such as steam leaking out
  • The high pressure and steam can cause severe burns or an explosion if the door is not closed properly


  • Janet or Lisa by phone: 416-978-3138
  • If neither Janet or Lisa are available, go to the administrative office for help
  • After hours call 416-978-3000 (engineers/repairs) or the Campus Police at 416-978-2323


  • Surgical Suites – portable autoclave for small loads – NO WASTE
  • 2nd Floor – for large loads – NO WASTE
  • 3rd Floor – for small loads and sterilizing level 1 bacterial waste
  • 5th Floor – portable autoclave for small loads – NO WASTE; this autoclave is self-contained so it functions even when building steam is off
  • Once you complete the mandatory autoclave training, you will be receive a username and password, granting you access to the online reservations system
  • For use of the surgical suite autoclaves, contact Christine McCaul
  • Special Notice for 2nd Floor Autoclave – the sliding door is on a counterweight and needs a very light touch to open or close it – use with care and slide slowly; do not let it bang up or down
  • If you slam the door it will break the switch and ruin the gasket, which is a costly repair – please treat equipment with care


  • Do NOT overfill the bag – leave enough room to close the bag in a safe manner
  • Place the autoclave bag in a tub, and only then start autoclaving – hot media inside the autoclave will clog the drain
  • The material coming out of the autoclave is extremely hot – use oven gloves to protect your hands
  • Once the garbage has been autoclaved, let the material cool for several hours before placing in a regular garbage bin


  • Autoclave all sharp items such as contaminated broken glassware, pipettes, or razor blades in separate autoclave bags
  • After autoclaving, dispose of the bags into one of the totes (lab glass and plastic tabs) supplied by Recycling Services
  • For sharps containers, contact Environmental Protection Services at 416-946-3473 for proper disposal


Building Safety

  • Ensure that all doors that access the facility are locked when you enter and leave, especially outside of regular business hours
  • Advise BSF staff of any unlocked or propped doors immediately
  • Do not let anyone who you do not recognize as working in the BSF, into the facility
  • Report any suspicious individuals roaming the building to BSF staff, or if after hours, please contact UofT Campus Police directly at 416-978-2323
  • Do not bring valuables into the facility
  • Report lost or stolen keys and FOBs, to BSF staff immediately
  • Do not lend your keys or FOBs to anyone – doing so can result in lost access privileges


Campus Safety


Community Safety


Emergency Response Contact Information

Unit Name/Title Phone # Email Address
Biosafety Ayoob Ghalami, Senior Biosafety Officer 416-978-3981
Campus Police, Non-Emergency 416-978-2323
Campus Police, Emergency 416-978-2222
Chemical Safety Geoff Shirtliff-Hinds, Chemical Lab & Safety Specialist 416-978-4335
Chemical Waste Management Rob Provost, Environmental Protection Manager 416-978-7000
Environmental Air Compliance Matthew White 416-978-5087
HAZMAT (Hazardous Materials) 9-1-1
Environment Protection Services Luis Ponte or Peter Smith, Environment Protection Technicians 416-978-2050

Radiation Protection Services Sandu Sonoc, Senior Radiation & Laser Safety Officer 416-978-2028
WHMIS Sheila Costford, WHMIS Compliance Officer 416-946-7064


Environmental Health & Safety


Facility Safety

  • All staff must complete WHMIS training
  • Upon orientation, emergency exits and first aid stations are identified
  • Injury/Accident reporting is reviewed and the Office of Environmental Health & Safety (EHS) referenced as standard contact
  • Lab staff are encouraged to be N95 fit-tested by completing the Respiratory Protection course offered through EHS
  • The following SOPs should be consulted for additional safety practices (available through the User Platform):
    • SOP# 1.3.5 Safe Practice in the BSF
    • SOP# 1.6.5 Fire Evacuation Procedures
    • SOP# 3.1.5 Handling of Sharps


  • Accidents
    • All BSF and lab personnel must report to their supervisor or designee any accidents causing personal injury
  • Centrifuges
    • The majority of all centrifuge accidents result from user error
    • To avoid injury, workers should follow the manufacturer’s operating instructions for each make and model of centrifuge that they use
  • Chemical Spills, Large
  • Chemical Spills, Small
    • Stop and think
    • Do not rush
    • Carefully plan cleanup
    • Get Safety Data Sheet (SDS) and determine appropriate cleanup procedures for the material
    • Spill kits are available in the facility – familiarize yourself with their locations
  • Contact Lenses
    • Dusts or chemicals can be trapped behind the lens and can cause irritation or damage, or both, to the cornea
    • Gases and vapours can cause irritation and excessive eye watering
    • Chemical splash may be more injurious when contact lenses are worn
    • This increased risk is related to the removal of the lenses – if removal is delayed, first aid treatment may not be as effective and, in turn, the eye’s exposure time to the chemical may be increased
  • Deluge Showers & Eyewash Units
    • Emergency showers and eyewash stations provide on-the-spot decontamination
    • They allow workers to flush away hazardous substances that can cause injury
    • Deluge showers are located in the facility – familiarize yourself with their locations
  • Eye and Face Protection
    • Safety glasses or goggles, face shield are available to protect from chemical and/or biological splashes
    • Surgical face masks are available for general use
    • N95 masks are available for protection against chemical and biological agents
    • Fit-testing is required through Environmental Health & Safety (EHS)
  • Fire Extinguishers
    • Located in corridor 367K, outside room 367D
  • Flammable Storage Cabinets
    • Lab specific; not identified in BSF at this time
  • Food in Facility
    • No food is allowed in the animal facility, including in animal rooms, lab spaces, and corridors
  • Foot Protection
    • CSA approved footwear is required in the cage wash area
    • Disposable shoe covers are available for prevention of contamination
  • Fume Hoods
    • Downdraft tables are available in the facility necropsy room for perfusion. To book this space, see our room booking page.
  • Hand Protection
    • Nitrile gloves for animal care work
    • Chemical resistant gloves required when working with chemicals
    • Heat resistant gloves required when working with autoclaves
    • For information on how to dispose of gloves, visit the Waste Disposal webpage
  • Microorganisms
  • Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)
    • Refers to protective clothing, goggles, or other garments or equipment designed to protect the wearer’s body from injury or infection
    • The hazards addressed by protective equipment include physical, electrical, heat, chemicals, biohazards, and airborne particulate matter
    • PPE requirements for animal work are described in facility orientation, SOPs and lab practices
    • Additional requirements are when working with chemical or biological hazards – visit the Environmental Health & Safety webpage for more information
  • Propped Doors
    • All doors must remain closed at all times for biosecurity and personnel safety
    • Propped doors are not allowed and must be reported immediately
    • Report propped doors to Christine McCaul
  • Refrigerators
    • Refrigerators within the facility are for animal use only
  • Safety Equipment
    • Engineering controls – biosafety cabinets and animal bedding disposal units are available for containment pratices
    • Carts, trolleys and pump trucks are available for material handling


First Aid Stations

  • There are multiple first aid stations in the building, including five (5) in the BSF
  • Familiarize yourself with the first aid station locations in the building
  • The following personnel are Trained First Aid Personnel, and can be contacted if First Aid is required:
Name Location
Chris Garside RW206E
Dongling Zhao RW137
Donna Wheeler RW137
Lisa Matchett RW229
Janet Harrison RW229
Tanja Vasic RW219
Milena Pellikka RW610/616/617
Karen Xu RW219
Christine McCaul BSF
Christine McCaul BSF, surgery suites


Joint Health & Safety Committee (JHSC)

Member Role Email Address Phone #
Tamar Mamourian Management
Co-Chair 416-978-3501
Lisa Matchett USW Worker
Co-Chair 416-978-3138
Dr. Sergey Plotnikov Management Member 416-978-3476
Henry Hong USW Worker Member 416-978-3510
Liang Zhao USW Worker Member 416-978-4814
Donna Wheeler USW Worker Member 416-978-4064
Simon Bedard USW Worker Member 416-978-1406
Choden Shrestha CUPE Local 3902 Worker Member


Safety Data Sheets (SDS)


Occupational Health & Safety

  • Under the Occupational Health & Safety Act, all University employees are considered workers where they have been paid to perform work or supply services
  • Employees have an obligation to the University to conduct their work in a safe manner
  • The Occupational Health & Safety Act protects workers from and establishes procedures for workplace hazards to ensure safety at all times
  • Employers must take every reasonable precaution to protect workers
  • Workers are prohibited from disobeying safety regulations and knowingly working in an unsafe manner
  • Fines and/or jail sentences may be (and have been) issued for violations of the Occupational Health & Safety Act
  • Employees are also obliged to abide by a number of other federal, provincial, and muncipal regulations related to the Occupational Health & Safety Act, including regulations governing the disposal of wastes, the handling of designated substances, the handling and disposal of radioactive and/or biohazardous materials, and the transportation and handling of dangerous goods
  • To read more about the Occupational Health & Safety Act, please visit the Environmental Health & Services website


Personal Safety

  • When working alone, on weekends, evenings or nights, keep your office or lab door closed and locked; it is a good idea to let someone know that you intend to work late, alone
  • You should also let UofT Campus Police know what building and room you plan to work in
  • Always be aware of your surroundings
  • Program the UofT Campus Police emergency number (416-978-2222) into your  cell phone
  • For some handy tips on how to protect yourself, visit the UofT Campus Police Safety Tips webpage


  • Call 9-1-1 from an internal telephone line for immediate police, fire or medical response to preserve life or property
  • Report urgent matters (e.g. suspicious persons, trespassers, etc.) to UofT Campus Police by calling 416-978-2222
  • To contact UofT Campus Police for any non-urgent matter, call 416-978-2323 or visit their website


  • Located throughout campus to keep you safe
  • A blue flashing light indicates the location of an emergency telephone
  • When the button is pressed, it dials directly into the UofT Campus Police dispatcher and the caller’s location is displayed to the operator
  • There are several emergency telephone locations on campus – familiarize yourself with their locations
  • The closest emergency telephone is located between the Ramsay Wright Labs and Sidney Smith Hall, in the loading dock/parking lot area


  • In the event of a fire, or when the alarm sounds, evacuate the building
  • Walk quickly to the nearest exit and alert others to do the same
  • If necessary, assist disabled persons in exiting the building
  • NEVER use the elevators
  • Be familiar with the stairwells nearest to your work location
  • There are two (2) stairwells in the Biological Sciences Facility – be familiar with their locations
  • DO NOT return to an evacuated building unless directed to do so by the UofT Campus Police or department staff


  • UofT insurance does not cover personal property
  • The university is not responsible for any damage or loss to your personal items


Reporting Accidents & Incidents

  • These procedures outline the reporting requirements for accidents, incidents, and occupational illnesses which result in, or have the potential to result in, personal injury or property damage
  • Reportable incidents are those which:
    • Result in personal injury or lost time from work (including those requiring first aid, and occupational illness)
    • Have the potential to result in personal injury or property damage even though no injury or damage actually occurred
    • Occur to any person on university premises
    • Occur to a university employee during the course of his/her work either on or off university premises
    • Occur to a student during the course of his/her classroom, laboratory or field work
    • Occur to a student during the course of a work placement (either paid or unpaid) which forms part of their university curriculum
  • The first step in reporting any and all accidents and incidents is to contact Christine McCaul by email (with Health & Safety Issue” in the subject line) or phone (416-978-3494 -OR- 416-697-5010)
  • If Christine is unavailable, you can contact Stephanie Melo, at 416-978-3494.
  • Use this handy tool to determine what to do in case of accident or incident: Hazard & Incident Reporting


  • The term “employee” refers to all full-time, part-time, sessional/seasonal or casual employees
  • On the day of the incident, the employer is responsible for providing and paying for immediate transportation to a hospital, health professional office/clinic, or the worker’s home (if necessary) and for paying for full wages and benefits for the day or shift on which the injury occurred
  • Within 24 hours, the supervisor must complete and submit the Online Workplace Accident/Incident Report for Employees
  • Please ensure you have all the required information available – the form will expire after 20 minutes
  • Where supervisors are unable to fully complete the form within 24 hours, the form should still be sent, with the missing information to follow once obtained – use “not available” for any information that is missing
  • The completed form should be faxed to 416-971-3052 or hand delivered to:
    Anne Chreptak
    WSIB Administrator
    Health & Well Being Programs and Services
    263 McCaul Street, 2nd Floor
    Tel: 416-978-8804
  • The WSIB Administrator in Health & Well Being is responsible for liaising with the Workplace Safety and Insurance Board (WSIB) and for the ongoing follow-up claims
  • For assistance or information with respect to any claim, contact Anne Chreptak
  • PLEASE NOTE: The WSIB levies a fine of $250 for late reporting of lost time or a health care claim
  • Where this late reporting is a result of your or your supervisor’s failure to report the accident or incident to the WSIB Administrator, Health and Well Being, you or your supervisor will be responsible for paying the fine


  • Students and visitors include all non-employees present or working in University workplaces – these include undergraduate students, graduate students (except when performing TA duties, in which case they are considered employees), visitors and members of the general public
  • All non-employees involved in an incident or accident must report the event to a UofT contact
  • Within 24 hours, the UofT contact must complete and submit the Online Accident/Incident Report for Students, Contractors, and Visitors
  • Please ensure that you have all the required information available – the form will expire after 20 minutes


  • A critical injury is one of a serious nature, which either places life in jeopardy, produces unconsciousness, results in substantial loss of blood, involves the fracture of a limb, involves the amputation of a limb, consists of major burns to the body or causes the loss of sight in an eye
  • Besides reporting to the UofT Campus Police at 416-978-2222 and the University Safety Personnel, the Ministry of Labour must also be notified at 416-235-5330
  • In addition to the above legal reporting requirements, the University requires the reporting of all accidents using the appropriate forms for any person, whether or not a personal injury occurs
  • For more information regarding the reporting of accidents and incidents, visit the Office of Environmental Health & Safety’s Accident Reporting webpage



Environmental Health & Safety (EHS) Training

  • The training program will change over time
  • Updates will be provided through the listserv and on this page
  • All users of the facility must take the following courses offered through the Office of Environmental Health & Safety (EHS):
    • EHS002 Basic Health & Safety Awareness
    • EHS101 WHMIS and Lab Safety
    • EHS532 Respiratory Protection
    • EHS601 Laboratory Biosafety
    • EHS603 Blood Borne Pathogens
    • EHS613 Viral Vectors
  • To enroll in these courses:
    • Click on the EHS link above – you will be redirected to My EHS Training
    • Read through the instructions on the webpage, then click “Login to My EHS Training”, in red, at the bottom of the screen
    • Login using your UTORid
    • Either enter the course code in the Course # box and click “Register”, or search using the “select from all available courses link”

Facility Training

  • Visit DCM Training to register for the online ethics module and species-specific module
  • At minimum, the ethics module must be completed before orientation will be provided
  • Additional training such as CL2, chemical, anesthesia and surgery training modules are available as required
  • Local 1:1 training and stereotaxic training is available for a fee – contact Christine McCaul for more information
  • Contact ACC Coordinator for access to the U of T fish module
  • Complete the Surgery Observation Form to schedule your surgical observation
  • Animal users are encouraged to practice animal handling techniques –  to arrange a one-on-one practice session, contact Christine McCaul

Standard Operating Procedures


UofT Alert


Waste Disposal

  • Visit the Waste Disposal webpage for detailed instructions on how to dispose of a variety of waste disposal items
  • Orange waste disposal bins are for recycling glass, blue bins are for recycling paper and teal bins are for recycling plastic
    • Available from Caretaking Services by calling them at 416-978-6252
  • Yellow 20L pails are for bio-hazardous waste, which display the biohazard warning symbol
    • Available from Environmental Protection Services (EPS) by calling Bio Waste at 416-946-3473
  • Biohazard Bags are available from the BSF for a fee
  • Autoclave Bags are available from the BSF for a fee
  • Chemical waste drums are available by calling Environmental Health & Safety at 416-978-7000
  • Buckets for contaminated glass are available from the Chemical Technicians