Biosafety Incidents & Emergencies

Below is a general procedure to follow in the event of an emergency at the University, plus links to additional resources that can help you develop an emergency procedure more specific to your research area and/or department.

General Emergency Procedure

  1. Notify everyone around you of the emergency situation.
  2. Call 911.

    - Be sure to call 911 for any situation similar to those described above, even if you are not sure if the situation is an emergency. The dispatcher can determine if it is necessary to send emergency personnel.
    - If you are calling from a non-University phone, ask for the University's dispatcher. 
    - If the incident involves chemicals, biological materials, or radioactive materials, you should also call UHS at (612) 626-6002 if it is during business hours (Monday-Friday, 8:00 am-4:30 pm). 
    - Be sure to tell the dispatcher of your location, and clearly describe the incident.

  3. Administer first aid, if necessary.

  4. Evacuate the area, if necessary.

Emergency Situations

The following types of events should be treated as emergencies:

  • If there is a fire and/or explosion, or if you see smoke
  • If there is a spill of or exposure to chemicals, radioactive or biological materials, or any other potentially hazardous substances
  • If someone has been injured or is experiencing some type of medical crisis. Some symptoms to look for are:
    • Uncontrolled bleeding
    • Loss of consciousness
    • Difficult breathing

Additional Resources

Facilities Management

If your work facilities appear unsafe (e.g., blocked doors, nonfunctioning emergency showers, etc.), contact your Facilities Management (FM) zone by calling (612) 624-2900 or visit the Facilities Management website for more information. 

If contacting FM does not remedy the situation, contact your department head about the situation.

Emergency Planning

The University's Department of Emergency Management can help you develop an emergency plan specific to your department or situation. 

Non-Emergency Injury or Illness

If you have sustained an injury or have been potentially exposed to a disease or pathogen, seek treatment as soon as possible. More information visit the Occupational Health Illness or Injury page.