By ensuring all of our QGEM team members have undergone the necessary laboratory safety training, Workplace Hazardous Materials Information System (WHMIS) training and Biosafety Level 1 training, we are creating a safe and informed workplace.
Prior to any experiments, the required SDS are read to ensure all relevant safety information, personal protective equipment (PPE) is worn and all necessary precautions are taken to avoid any harm to lab workers and the environment.
Lab safety training includes the following:
- Location and use of fire alarms, exits, and extinguishers
- Location and use of eyewash stations, safety showers, first aid kits, chemical spill kits and response cards, laboratory gas shut off valves
- Standard laboratory safety rules, including proper lab wear, protective gear, use of hazardous equipment
- Proper method of disposal and spill response for biohazardous materials, sharps, chemicals, radioactive material, ethidium bromide gels
- Proper use and handling of autoclaves (undergone with the department's designated trainer)
Risk Group 1 (non-pathogenic organisms) Escherichia coli DH5-a strain in regulation with the Canadian Biosafety Standards was used for plasmid housing, has no 'natural' environment or habitat as it does not exist in nature. The primary strain of E. coli used for expression was BL21 and it does not pose any threat to laboratory workers, the general public, or the environment. Standard lab biosafety regulations were followed to ensure that any modified strains were not introduced to people or the environment outside of the lab.
All of our work is done under the direct supervision of Dr. Martin Petkovich, Dr. Donald Cameron, Dr. Virginia Walker or Kristy Moniz to ensure lab equipment and materials are being utilized in a safe and effective manner.