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Before you start..

  • Remember, you can't start work until your assessment has been reviewed and all appropriate authorisations obtained (including any external approvals from HSE) - you will receive an email notification from RiskNET indicating when the assessment has been approved.

  • Check that the area where the work is to be carried out is covered by one of the addresses already notified to HSE. If not, contact the University Biological Safety Adviser (UBSA) to add the address (the UBSA will also notify HSE of this change). NB: contact the UBSA to confirm locations of any work carried out in Biological Services.

  • Think carefully about the scope of the assessment. If the activity being assessed is part of a larger project that includes a number of different activities, would it be more appropriate to assess the whole project rather than generate multiple assessments covering individual activities.

  • Remember, your assessment will be seen by others who may not be as familiar with the subject as you, so sufficient detail is required for all those reviewing the assessments (which could include HSE) to understand the nature of the hazards described.

  • All statements made about the risks of the work must be justified eg with supporting evidence from Scientific Advisory Committee on Genetic Modification (SACGM) guidance, previous experience or the literature. One word answers are not sufficient. Consider all stages of the planned modification, for example from growing plasmids in a bacterial system, using the plasmids to transfect a cell line, which may or may not also require the use of a viral vector.

  • If you are not sure which assessment forms to use or need help with completing your risk assessment, speak to your Departmental Genetic Modification Safety Officer in the first instance.  You can also contact the UBSA for further help and advice if needed.



Definitions of Activity Classes

Locations notified to HSE

SACGM Compendium of Guidance

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