To comply with federal, state, and local regulations and guidelines, the UCLA Institutional Biosafety Committee in coordination with the Office of Environment, Health & Safety, Biosafety Program facilitates reporting of incidents involving biohazard material and recombinant DNA for all UCLA research or teaching related activities on or off the campus. Biohazard materials includes: recombinant DNA[1], infectious organisms including zoonotic materials and biological toxins[2], and all human materials (including cells, tissues, and bodily fluids)[3].

Immediate and accurate reporting involving biohazard material is important in identifying potentially hazardous operations and procedures including potential noncompliance. This policy has been adopted to initiate the necessary information gathering to determine the nature and extent of the incident as well as assess the effectiveness of the assigned containment and safety practices, corrective actions, and other remediation.

This policy is the minimum reporting requirements and doesn’t cover incident response such as, but not limited to, spill or exposure requiring medical attention and/or post-exposure treatment. Incidents involving select biological agents and toxins[4] or human gene transfer research[5] must comply with the reporting requirements specific to those regulations.

  • Principal Investigator (has primary reporting duties)
  • Manager/Supervisor (if PI is not available)
  • Lab Personnel (highly advised to notify PI/Supervisor, but may report directly to EH&S)

This is not an exhaustive list, but a sampling of what is reportable:

  • Accidents that results in exposure, injury, or illness including near misses.
  • Theft, loss, or release of biohazard materials including all genetically modified organisms.
  • Spills outside of containment equipment (e.g., Biosafety Cabinet, centrifuge, autoclave).
  • Environmental contamination and near misses.
  • Problems pertaining to operation and practices, implementation of containment safety procedures or equipment. (e.g., HVAC, eyewash/shower, sink).
  • All other unsafe practices, unauthorized research, and non-compliance.
  • Serious occupational injuries, illnesses, or exposures especially to recombinant DNA within 8 hours. The Office of Biotechnology Activities must be notified within 24 hours by the Institutions Biosafety Officer or Associate Biosafety Officer.
    • Serious injuries are defined by Cal/OSHA as amputations, concussions, crush injuries, fractures, burns, lacerations with significant bleeding or requiring stitches, or hospitalization (other than for observation) for greater than 24 hours.
  • All other incidents within 24 hours
How? Contact EH&S Hotline: (310) 825-9797


  1. NIH Guidelines for Research Involving Recombinant or Synthetic Nucleic Acid Molecules (NIH Guidelines)
  2. CDC Biosafety in Microbiological and Biomedical Laboratories, 6th Edition
  3. Cal/OSHA California Code of Regulations Title 8 General Safety Orders – all relevant sections
  4. HHS/CDC and USDA/APHIS 42 CFR 73, 9 CFR 121, and 7 CFR 331
  5. OSP - Do adverse events experienced by participants in human gene transfer trials fall under this incident reporting requirement?

Approved 6/24/10; Revised 7/29/11; Updated 1/19/2022