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International Bio Recovery Summit - Chad Austin
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Emergency Response - EHS in Biological Safety Laboratories.  



Chad Austin, Ph.D., Safety Specialist

University of Texas Health

Chad is a graduate of the National Biosafety and Biocontainment Training Program at the NIH and a now works on the Biosafety team at the University of Texas Health Science Center in Houston. At UTHealth, he serves as a Specialist supporting the programs and activities of the Biosafety program there, as well as an Instructor for the School of Public Health providing education in Biosafety and related topics. As an NBBTP Fellow, Chad worked with colleagues to develop a suite of training and educational materials for both the NIH and ABSA. Their work resulted in a combination didactic and hands-on BSL-3 training course for NIH personnel, and a modular educational curriculum for secondary, undergraduate, and graduate students to be distributed by ABSA.

Prior to his fellowship with the NBBTP, he was a graduate student at the University of Colorado where he conducted research at both BSL-2 and BSL-3, participating in the Select Agents program there and at Colorado State University. Chad has several years’ experience with the theory and practice of genetics and molecular biology as well as bacteriology, virology, and immunology. Chad also holds a Bachelor’s of Science degree in Biochemistry from Seattle Pacific University.


Presentation:  Emergency Response - EHS in Biological Safety Laboratories

Academic research institutions and private life sciences facilities often host laboratories that work with a variety of infectious substances; and when there is an emergency in those labs, Environmental Health and Safety Biological Safety (Biosafety) professionals typically get called in to help with the response. From simple equipment alarms, to full-blown spills of pure microbiological cultures and personnel exposures, academic biosafety professionals need to be prepared to respond to a wide range of scenarios. This presentation will give you the Biosafety perspective for preparation, response, and follow-up to biohazard emergencies. We will take time to discuss how these activities can be translated to the bio-remediation world. Topics discussed will include: disinfection, decontamination, personal protective equipment (PPE), waste management, and exposure response/follow-up.



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ABRA’s objective is “to achieve and maintain the highest levels of competence among members in the performance of their profession. To teach, instill and require the highest technical, ethical and educational standards.” ABRA certified firms are required to maintain proper insurance, OSHA compliance, Bloodborne Pathogen training records, respirator fit testing, proper handling of biohazardous waste and other laws or requirements in order to maintain good standing with the American Bio-Recovery Association aka ABRA.