8.3 - Department of Health and Safety


The UM Department of Health and Safety (DHS) is responsible for compliance with and enforcement of the university’s biological, chemical, and radiological safety regulations and policies. The DHS publishes manuals related to these safety issues; provides training and educational materials to faculty, staff, and students, as appropriate; reviews and approves research protocols related to these issues before research commences; and signs the UM Transmittal Sheet to indicate researchers’ compliance with UM and federal regulations in proposals that are submitted to external sponsors for support.

Campus Health and Safety Regulations

Campus health and safety regulations are available on the DHS website; these include the Biological, Chemical, Diving, Occupational, and Radiological Safety Manuals, as well as applicable university policies and procedures for the conduct of research at the university or by university researchers at remote locations.

Safety Training Courses

Current university policies require the completion of safety training prior to commencing research on the campus. Safety training requirements apply to faculty, staff and graduate students working with biological, chemical, or radiological materials or ionizing radiation generating devices on the Oxford campus, as well as visiting investigators working with these materials under the supervision of trained university personnel on the campus.

Safety examinations are part of the chemical, biological, and radiological safety training programs. For those persons working with pathogens, DNA, or human body parts or fluids, additional safety training is required. Annual retraining is required for continued radiation authorization. Researchers should contact DHS regarding times and availability of training courses.

Note: Subsequent university policy may require additional safety training and/or safety examinations. Before beginning any work, the Principal Investigator/Project Director (PI/PD) should contact DHS for current policies and requirements.

Review and Approval of Research Protocols

DHS review and approval is required on research protocols involving biological, chemical, or radiological hazards prior to the start of the research. Research protocols involving carcinogenic materials, biological or chemical hazards, radioactivity, or radiation generating devices must be submitted to DHS for approval. DHS will review protocols and proposals, and will forward these materials to the Director of Research Integrity and Compliance in the ORSP.

Research Involving Human Blood or Tissue, Recombinant DNA, or Pathogens

Research involving pathogens, DNA, or human body parts or fluids requires approval of the Institutional Biosafety Committee (IBC), an institution-wide committee. Researchers planning to use human blood, other fluids, or tissue must submit an IRB application and contact the chair of the IBC for review and approval of the research protocol. An IBC Memorandum of Understanding and Agreement(posted on the ORSP IBC Form page) and a copy of the approved research protocol must be submitted by the researcher to the DRIC office, which forwards these materials to DHS and IBC for approval. Final IRB approval is contingent upon IBC approval.

Note: The Department of Health and Safety must sign the UM Transmittal Sheet if research proposed for external funding involves any of the above-mentioned health or safety issues. Researchers should coordinate review with DHS. Failure to process the protocol review and receive approval may delay the processing of the proposal or the start-up of the project.