FAQ

If you do not find the answer to your question about the Biosafety Occupational Health Program, please contact us at 979.845.6649 or bohp@tamu.edu.

Q:  What is the Biosafety Occupational Health Program (BOHP)?

A. The Biosafety Occupational Health Program is a service for individuals exposed to hazardous materials in the course of their duties and in certain circumstances, in the course of their studies. It covers many areas, including education, preventative care, health monitoring, and occupational exposure evaluation and treatment.

Q: Who participates in the BOHP?

A.  Any person, listed on an IBC research permit working with agents at BSL-2 or BSL-3; or listed on an AACUC or IACUC research or teaching AUP, needs to complete the Biosafety Occupational Health Initial Questionnaire in order to be approved to work on that permit or protocol.

Any TAMU Operations department personnel, who has been identified by their supervisor through a BOHP Exposure Assessment, as having a risk of exposure to 1) human body fluids, human tissues or wastes; or 2) animals, animal tissues or wastes; or 3) human disease-causing microorganisms needs to complete the Biosafety Occupational Health Initial Questionnaire before beginning work duties that have potential exposure to those materials.

Q:  How do I participate in the BOHP?

A. Go to the  Biosafety Occupational Health Web Portal

    • Sign in with your Net ID username & password.
    • Click on "Occupational Health" on the left menu.
    • Click on “Occupational Health Questionnaire” on the top center menu. 
    • If you work in a research facility (on an AUP or an IBC permit), please select your Principal Investigator as your PI/Supervisor (no lab managers, please).  

[Start typing your Principal Investigator’s last name in the drop box and it will narrow the list of names. Once you find the name in the PI/Supervisor drop box, click on the name to capture it into your form. You cannot type in your PI's name directly into the form field. If the name is not in the list, contact BOHP (bohp@tamu.edu) to update the list.]

    • If you work in an operations department, please select your department or division director as your supervisor.

[Start typing your director’s last name in the drop box and it will narrow the list of names. Once you find the name in the PI/Supervisor drop box, click on the name to capture it into your form. You cannot type in your supervisor's name directly into the form field. If the name is not in the list, contact BOHP (bohp@tamu.edu) to update the list.] 

 

Q: Should students enroll in the BOHP?

A. Yes. Student workers meet the definition of employee by receiving financial compensation.  Students who are NOT employees and ARE enrolled in a 485 level class can be enrolled by their principal investigator or professor. Graduate students who receive stipends are considered employees. Unpaid (volunteer) students can also be enrolled. Contact BOHP for further information at bohp@tamu.edu.

Q: How do I receive medical services?

A. BOHP will assess the risk mitigations and medical services you need, based on your risk assessment, and send you a medical services authorization form to indicate which services you should receive. Medical services are provided by a contract medical services provider. Detailed instructions will accompany your authorization form. Take that authorization with you to your provider to confirm which services you need. Without the Texas A&M authorization form, you will be financially responsible for any testing that is performed.

Q: Will I get results from my medical test?

A. Test results within normal limits will be communicated to you in a private manner. Test results which fall outside the normal limits will be communicated directly to the Texas A&M biosafety officer. Further communication of those results, to the individual and to any other necessary person, will be in a timely manner and at the direction of the biosafety officer.

Q: Who pays for the test?

A. Medicals services and testing is paid for by the BOHP through the Vice President of Research.

Q: What happens if I am injured on the job?

A. Report all on-the-job accidents and injuries, including emergency situations involving serious injury, exposure, or after-hours incidents, to your supervisor IMMEDIATELY. This step does not take the place of calling 911 (campus phones: 9-911) for emergency medical services for serious injuries or emergencies. It may be necessary to follow a specific procedure for control of infectious materials before emergency medical care can be given. See "In the event of an exposure..." Supervisors will also know the proper injury reporting procedure for the worker's compensation program. Reporting forms must be filled out and returned to the BOHP and to the Biosafety Officer for all events involving biological agents.

Q:  What if I don’t want to participate in the medical services portion of BOHP?

A. An employee may decline any assigned risk mitigation, whether it is recommended  or required. As a consequence of declining required risk mitigations, you may be denied access to certain facilities or be prohibited from certain activities. Even if you decline a specific risk mitigation, you can still receive other risk mitigations, as well as information, personal protective equipment, and training.