All our team members realized the importance of risk assessment and biosafety practice from the very beginning of our project.
To equip our team members with basic knowledge on biosafety and biosecurity and keep alert on the risks connected to our project at all stages, we gained support from the Jockey Club STEAM Education Resources Sharing Scheme offered by the Open University of Hong Kong. Dr. Emily Wong of the School of Biology and Technology at OUHK delivered our team an online workshop on Biosafety & Biosecurity with Q&A session on the ZOOM platform. The workshop included information about principles of biosafety, the 4 Biosafety Levels laboratories, essential personal protection, laboratory equipment and practices to ensure safety of personnel and protection of the environment.
Our teacher supervisors provide professional judgement on assessment of risk for all our planning or experiment, ensure all members understand and follow the safety or operation procedures and received training before operating any equipment or experiment related to the project.
Biosafety Level 2 laboratories
The laboratories of all our member schools reached a Biosafety Level 2 standard and all precautions used at Biosafety Level 2 are strictly followed.
All team members working in the laboratories are equipped with adequate personal protective equipment including lab coats, long pants, gloves, face mask and safety goggles. The handling of all pathogenic agents would under the supervision of qualified laboratory technicians. All the practical procedures will be demonstrated to the members again before hand-on works.
All procedures with possibility to produce infectious aerosols or splashes will be conducted in our Type A2 biological safety cabinets or other physical containment equipment. Example includes the non-pathogenic strains of Escherichia coli used for transformation.
Our principal investigator is responsible for ensuring that adequate and timely risk assessments are performed, and working closely with the laboratory technicians to ensure appropriate equipment and facilities are available to support the work. Risk assessments should be reviewed routinely and revised when necessary, taking into consideration the acquisition of new data and information from the scientific literature. We will not attempt any lab work in situations when the information is insufficient to perform an appropriate risk assessment.