Safe Lab Work
The University of Guelph prides itself in taking the safety of all students and staff seriously. All team members went through rigorous safety training through a variety of Environmental Health and Safety modules, which included topics such as WHMIS, safe handling and disposal of chemicals, assessing workspaces for dangers, and more. In addition, Team iGEM Guelph set a strict work-alone policy and buddy system at all times for the team.
Safe Project Design
All organisms of choice for this year's research are non-pathogenic, Risk Group I, and the laboratory space in which we are working is Biosafety Level 2. During project design, safety was always top priority. We regularly consult our PIs and Advisors for recommendations for safer alternatives of outdated experimental procedures/reagents. We work under an Ethidium Bromide-free rule for gels and imaging. Furthermore, we held constant check-ins for safe organization of our lab space. These check-ins included weekly lab cleanup and identification of clutter-prone areas on days where we had a higher-than-usual team member presence. Inevitable bottlenecks and time-crunches exist in iGEM, and in research in general, but we always make sure to keep level-headed and avoid rushing and distractions in the lab, ensuring everyone's safety at all times.