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The University of Saskatchewan values diversity, and Aboriginal engagement is a strategic priority.

Biosafety and Environmental Officer


Department: Safety Resources

FTE: 1.0

Status: Term maternity leave replacement of up to 12 months, with the possibility of extension (October 30, 2017 - October 30, 2018)

Requisition: req1030

Open Date: 8/7/2017

Salary Information: The salary range is CAD $61,618.00 - 96,279.00 per month (Specialist Professional/Phase 2). The starting salary will be commensurate with education and experience.

Description: There is 1 opening for this posting. Located in Saskatoon.

Primary Purpose:

The Biosafety and Environmental Officer provides oversight too and manages the University’s Biosafety and Environmental programs. This includes, but is not limited to, promoting and facilitating institutional compliance in all University teaching, research, and analytical/diagnostic activities that involve biohazardous agents, providing expert advice on the safe handling of biological materials, and managing all facets of the Biosafety and Environmental programs including the operation of the Waste Management Facility.

Nature of Work:

Reporting to the Coordinator, Research Safety Programs, the Biosafety and Environmental Officer provides oversight too and manages the University’s Biosafety and Environmental programs.

Responsibilities include ensuring information and training seminars for laboratory and non-laboratory personnel are current, providing expertise on biohazard risk classification and containment, safe handling techniques, decontamination methodologies, biological material waste treatment and disposal, conducting routine site visits and compliance inspections of laboratories, animal and agricultural facilities, and serving as a safety consultant to emergency responders for incidents involving biohazardous materials. The Biosafety and Environmental Officer will develop and implement the Environmental Program, including the management of above-ground and underground storage tanks and the operation of the Waste Management Facility.

As the University’s Biosafety and Environmental Officer, you will advise research, laboratory service and teaching personnel about containment, safety, biosecurity and waste disposal, as well as monitor performance and compliance in research projects involving genetically modified plant and animal organisms, and provide legislation and regulatory guidance.

The Biosafety and Environmental Officer will work in both office and laboratory/research environments and may responds to emergencies after-hours.  Business hours are 8:00 am-4:30 pm, Monday to Friday. 

Accountabilities:

The Biosafety and Environmental Officer is the primary liaison between the University and regulators as associated with the Biosafety and Environmental programs. As the University’s Biosafety and Environmental Officer, you will:

  • Oversee and manage a Biosafety program that provides effective control of work with biological materials in accordance with applicable legislation and University policies.
  • Plan, coordinate and conduct audits/inspections for the Biosafety program as per legislative and University requirements, recommend correct action and follow up with the audits and assessments to ensure implementation of corrective actions
  • Act as the subject matter expert in relation to biological safety and environmental issues including risk assessment and containment in accordance with related legislation.
  • Advise the University community regarding issues related to work with biohazardous and genetically modified materials.
  • Develop, review and maintain procedures to ensure compliance with the biosafety and environmental programs and regulatory requirements.
  • Oversee the administration of license applications, amendments, renewals, audit responses and other regulatory reports as required of Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) issued licenses.
  • Represent the Biosafety Program on committees and maintain communication with PHAC, and Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) regulators and inspectors.
  • Ensure all licences held by the University are properly maintained and conditions stipulated are implemented.
  • Ensure that all practices reflect safe work with biological material, protection of the public. and the environment.
  • Serve as a resource and supports the activities of the Biosafety Advisory Committee and Biosafety Protocol Advisory Committee.
  • Serve as a consultant to emergency responders for incidents involving biological materials.
  • Investigate incidents involving biological materials.
  • Lead in the development, and administration of biosafety programs, services and initiatives that support the safe and responsible use of biological and biohazardous materials.
  • Serve as the Biosafety Officer for the university.
  • Manage university licenses, permits and approvals with federal (e.g. Public Health Agency of Canada, Canadian Food Inspection Agency) and provincial regulators for the use of biological and biohazardous materials, and regulated activities, and act as a primary liaison with said regulatory agencies.
  • Monitor and assess current physical, operational and environmental conditions on campus, and provide advice and make recommendations that ensure effective management of health, safety and environment, and appropriate risk management.
  • Ensure all annual regulatory reports are completed and submitted on time.
  • Supervisor the Environmental Protection Technicians.
  • Develop and implement the Environmental Program, including the management of above-ground and underground storage tanks and the operation of the Waste Management Facility.
  • Oversee external contracts and agreements
  • Liaison to Animal Ethics including review and approval of animal protocol prior to research.
  • Oversee biological material procurement.
  • Ensures the success of direct reports by; supporting appropriate training and development opportunities, jointly establishing goals and performance expectations and providing effective coaching and mentoring opportunities.

Qualifications:

Education:

A Bachelor of Science degree with a focus in biology, life sciences, microbiology, toxicology, or related field. Knowledge of microbiology attained through a combination of education, training, and experience is required. Knowledge of chemical and laboratory safety. Professional credentials in biosafety or related discipline an asset. Experience in supervising direct reports is an asset. Education and experience must allow for certification as a Biosafety Officer. 

Experience:

A minimum seven years of progressive experience in developing, supporting, and managing health, safety, and environmental protection programs, with a specialty in biosafety safety programs.

Skills:

  • Excellent verbal, written and interpersonal skills with a proven ability to interact effectively with internal stakeholders in a diverse population at all levels, as well as with external stakeholders with various regulatory agencies and other institutions.
  • Demonstrated excellence in communication and organizational skills with the ability to set priorities and manage time effectively, including a high volume of work with competing demands, as well as use strong judgment, analytical and problem-solving skills.
  • Strong computer competency including word processing, spreadsheet, database, web applications, social media, and Internet search engines.
  • Strong leadership skills to ensure the success of direct reports by; supporting appropriate training and development opportunities, jointly establishing goals and performance expectations and providing effective coaching and mentoring opportunities.
  • Experience leading and managing health, safety and environmental protection programs, and biosafety programs.
  • Demonstrated ability to build productive working relationships.
  • Experience leading and managing health, safety and environmental protection programs.
  • Strong working knowledge of biosafety.

Inquiries regarding this position can be directed to Jeff Lindsay at 306-966-8495.  

This position is in scope of ASPA.


The University of Saskatchewan is strongly committed to a diverse and inclusive workplace that empowers all employees to reach their full potential. All members of the university community share a responsibility for developing and maintaining an environment in which differences are valued and inclusiveness is practiced. The university welcomes applications from those who will contribute to the diversity of our community. All qualified candidates are encouraged to apply; however, Canadian citizens and permanent residents will be given priority.