EBSA14 Preconference Courses 2011

A. Effective risk assessment for biological activities

Patrick Seechurn, University of Manchester/UK
Anton de Paiva, Imperial College London/UK

Short description:
It is a requirement that risk assessments are undertaken before hazardous work is undertaken, however, these assessments must deliver pragmatic outputs in terms of containment and control. This workshop will involve understanding the principles and methods underlying risk assessments for activities involving various hazardous biological materials including genetically modified micro-organisms (GMM) and material where there is known, suspect or possible contamination with infectious agents. Throughout the workshop there will be a number of interactive sessions involving participants to evaluate and comment on the hazard and risk with various biological agents and to consider the effectiveness of the risk assessments.

B. Biosafety audits and inspections - a basic course

Helmut Bachmayer, Biosafety & Biosecurity Consultant, Maria Enzersdorf/A
Gary Burns, AstraZeneca PLC, Macclesfield/UK

Short description:
This workshop is intended to provide a basic course on auditing management systems and monitoring safety performance in connection with activities involving biohazards. In addition to setting out the general framework for the audit process, and contrasting this with safety inspections, a number of scenarios will be presented to illustrate some of the difficulties which may be encountered, along with approaches to circumvent these. Points to consider when planning and conducting an audit will be presented together with useful hints based on the auditing experience of the tutors. Based on a case study, audit preparation and strategy as well as communication will be practiced in group work and role playing.

C. Incident and accident investigation and reporting - nuts and bolts

Jörg Frank, University of Zurich/CH
Martin Kuster, Novartis International AG, Basel/CH

Short description:
Target audience: Biosafety professionals tasked with setting up or running incident/accident evaluation systems
Training form: Case-study learning; interactive sharing of best practices and experiences, including lessons learned
In a biosafety setting, accidents and incidents not being properly addressed and corrective action introduced can lead to consequences to the affected individual(s) or even the general public at large.

Participants of the training course will review the important elements of an incident/accident reporting and working up scheme and discuss in particular:

  • What policies with regards to incident evaluation and reporting are necessary and what should be their main contents.
  • What structures are necessary to implement the policies: format, who is involved in implementation, who is involved in evaluation of the incident/accident (e.g. workers, safety specialists, industrial hygienists, physicians, managers, other specialists), who has which responsibility.
  • Once an incident happened, what are the steps to be taken: for the individual, for the line management, for the BSO/HSEO and other stakeholders.
  • How should the results of such an evaluation be communicated: what are the potential audiences and how are they addressed.

The participants will discuss this using several case studies. It is also expected that the participants bring experiences to be shared in the discussion.

The goal of the course is that the participants go home with an example of a general framework for incident/accident reporting, investigation and communication that can easily be adapted to their local situation to prevent recurrence of incidents and accidents.

D. Management of BSL3 containment facilities

Philippe Stroot, Xibios Biosafety Consulting, Tournai/B
Delphine Beeckman, BayerBioScience N.V., Gent/B

Short description:
This full day course aims at providing research workers, biosafety professionals and facility managers with practical views on how to operate and manage a BSL3 facility in a safe and sustainable way.
As all BSL3 facilities do not host the same type of activities and are not necessarily designed in a similar way, the link between the type of operations, the infrastructure and the handling and managing practices will be the thread of this workshop. The importance of setting up fully adapted working practices and maintenance programmes will be emphasized.
The workshop will be led by two professionals gathering the experience of working in BSL3 laboratories, managing different types of BSL3 facilities and developing and running biosafety programmes in various types of institutions. Part of it will be devoted to looking at specific case studies, including issues submitted by the attendees.

E. Biosafety in laboratory animal facilities

Kathrin Summermatter, Institut für Viruskrankenheiten und Immunoprophylaxe, Mittelhäusern/CH
Jürgen Mertsching, Hanover Medical School/D

Short description:
The first part of the workshop is dedicated to presentations on the basic principles of animal biosafety. An overview about safety measures (operational, work practices, equipment) that relate to small and large animals will be given, including a particular focus on risk assessment of both infected (e.g. animal models for human diseases) and genetically modified animals. Emphasis will be put on containment measures as well as on personal protective equipment.
In a second part the case study approach will be used to allow participants to work in smaller groups to recognize, to discuss and to assess the hazards and associated risks related to animal handling.

F. Training methods

Vibeke Halkjær-Knudsen, Statens Serum Institute Copenhagen/DK
Per Staugaard, Biosafety Training & Consultancy, Utrecht/NL

Short description:
This workshop is intended to provide a basis to set up a training & qualification programme in connection with activities involving biohazards.
There will be specific focus on different training methods, their pro´s and con´s, costs, what outcome students will have on short- and long term, what group size the different tools are suited for and to evaluation of training.
After an introduction to training in general and more specifically to education, knowledge and experience, as well as the available training tools, the attendants will set-up in small groups a training programme for an imaginary workplace. At the end of the day, the students will be asked to make a GAP analysis for their own institution and create an institutional action plan for implementing supplemental training methods/tools found needed.
The aim is to create an interactive learning forum, where dialogue and sharing of experience amongst the attendees will add valuable discussions to the agenda of the day and bring inspiration to both new Biosafety professionals as well as more experienced for implementation of additional teaching tools into the institutions.

G. Current laboratory biosecurity procedures

Heather Sheeley, Health Protection Agency, Salisbury/UK

Short description:
This short course will introduce the issues and practical approaches to developing and influencing an effective biosecurity programme.
The course will introduce delegates to the issues required to develop an effective biosecurity programme at the institute level. The course includes practical and theoretical aspects to adopt and to determine risk.
Areas covered will be people, assets, legal, physical and information security required to provide a comprehensive, effective and appropriate programme. On concluding this course the delegate will be able to; draft a biosecurity plan, hold informed dialogue with key stakeholders, work with of the disciplines to implement a biosecurity plan.
This workshop is suitable for those with biosafety responsibilities who want to broaden their knowledge in this area, those charged with drawing up a biosecurity plan, those wishing to check the adequacy of their arrangements with others or update knowledge as well as regulators and policy makers who need to have an appreciation of the implications at operational level.

Learning Outcomes

  • Understand the issues of biosecurity
  • Basic understanding of drivers for biosecurity programmes
  • Identify roles of biosafety professional with others in the programme
  • Undertake an institute level threat and risk assessment
  • Identify the core areas of a biosecurity plan
  • Be able to draft a biosecurity plan for their laboratory and institute