Medical surveillance

210 Materials Management Building (MMB)

As per Chapter 7 of the Canadian Biosafety Handbook, the basic purpose of a medical surveillance program is to help prevent and detect illnesses related to the exposure of personnel to pathogens or toxins. The focus of this program is primarily preventive, although it also provides a response mechanism through which a potential infection can be identified and treated before serious injury, disease, or secondary transmissions occur.

Medical surveillance is for more than just regulated biological materials and could apply to any workplace where medical surveillance is identified by hazard assessment as a control.


At the university we integrate medical surveillance into our work as follows:


Reporting and tracking exposures and laboratory-acquired infections (LAIs)

To report a potential exposure or LAI, complete an incident form -- even if you're not certain that an illness is laboratory acquired. Your report will help us to assist you and to prevent illness in other laboratories.

Our incident report is used to gather the facts of an exposure, illness, or injury, and does not have disciplinary ramifications.

If you wish to make a confidential report, please contact the Office of Safe Disclosure & Human Rights.


Health assessment

It is also possible to arrange a health assessment if you have a change in your health status, such as pregnancy or a deficiency in your immune status, etc. To arrange a health screening, contact Alternatively, consult your physician.


The U of A supports vaccinations as recommended in the Canadian Immunization Guide for Workers. When appropriate commercial vaccines are available, the U of A strongly recommends the use of vaccination to protect laboratory workers, and any worker who faces the risk of contracting an illness in the course of their work. To request a vaccination, please complete this form.


Post-exposure response plan

When a report is filed of a Human Blood or Bodily Fluid Exposure (HBBFE) a medical contractor will follow up on the report to ensure that medical assistance is made available.


In the event of a report of exposure to a regulated biological material, a biosafety officer will follow up with the reporting person.


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