Institutions such as Indiana University must report accidents, exposures, or other problems to the National Institutes of Health Office of Science Policy, as outlined in the NIH Guidelines for Research Involving Recombinant DNA Molecules (NIH Guidelines).
IU researchers, laboratory staff, and animal care staff must immediately report any of the following events to the campus Biological Safety Manager or designee and to the principal investigator, if the reporting researcher is not the PI:
- Any overt or potential personnel exposure to recombinant or synthetic nucleic acid molecule-containing material, at any biosafety level, whether or not that exposure leads to illness. Overt exposures also require immediate report to the NIH by IU’s Office of Research Compliance. These exposures include but are not limited to:
- needle sticks
- splashes to mucous membranes
- bites from infected animals
- Any significant spill of recombinant or synthetic nucleic acid molecule-containing material outside of a biological safety cabinet. Spills that do not include an overt exposure also require a 30-day report to the NIH by IU’s Office of Research Compliance. A significant spill is defined as:
- a spill of recombinant risk group 1 agent-containing material that requires emergency spill response or other environmental remediation, or
- any spill of recombinant risk group 2 or 3 agent-containing material
- Any incident that results in the release of recombinant or synthetic nucleic acid molecules to the environment (including escape of a transgenic animal). Loss of containment also requires a 30-day incident report to the NIH by IU’s Office of Research Compliance.
- Any breach of or failure to adhere to Biosafety Level 2 or 3 containment levels or any other significant problems with or violations of the NIH Guidelines. These incidents also require a 30-day report to the NIH by IU’s Office of Research Compliance.
- Any spill of and/or exposure to any biohazardous materials outlined in a previously approved IBC protocol.