Year of Publication



Public Health

Date Available


Degree Name

Master of Public Health (M.P.H.)

Committee Chair

Wayne T. Sanderson, PhD, MS, CIH

Committee Member

David M. Mannino, MD

Committee Member

Nancy E. Johnson, DrPH, MSPH


Inspections are integral to comprehensive biosafety programs at academic research institutions that use a wide variety of infectious agents. However, there is no standardization of biosafety inspection procedures from institution to institution. This study analyzed results of 2,098 documented inspections conducted from January 2012 through December of 2016 performed by biosafety staff at a large Research I land grant institution in order to evaluate the effectiveness of an unannounced versus the more traditional announced approach to inspection procedure. Results demonstrated that: a) more findings were noted during unannounced inspections, therefore more accurately informing biosafety staff of the true day to day conditions of the laboratory; b) the most common findings decreased over the time; and c) over time, not only did findings noted in unannounced inspections decrease, but those noted in formalized announced inspections also decreased. Therefore, the results of this study support the implementation of unannounced inspections, specifically designed to prevent interruption of laboratorians’ work, as an adjunct to announced inspections at academic research institutions.

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