Medical Surveillance

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 exposure 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.

Reporting + tracking exposures + laboratory-acquired infections

To report a potential exposure or Laboratory Acquired Infection (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, contact the Office of Safe Disclosure and 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. Request a vaccination .

HSE does not collect or store vaccination records; the responsibility for completing recommended vaccinations lies with the workers. Supervisors should not be retaining immunization records.

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, the Biosafety Officer will follow up with the reporting person.


Employees, Students


Safety & Security

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