model assessment will NOT be adequate for work;
- with prions or ACDP hazard group 3 or 4 agents for which HSE notification
is required (including some specified pathogens which cannot be used
without Home Office notification).
- with any pathogen of plants or animals (or environmental samples which
might contain them) for which authorisation from DEFRA is required.
- with any genetically modified organism (GMO). Individual GM projects
and personnel must be authorised by the University GM Safety Committee.
(Refer to GMHELP)
- with infected animals (infected with pathogenic organisms including
- involving large scale culturing (>5 litres) of liquid cultures
- with Manduca moths, locusts, small mammals, nematode worms or wild
birds (refer to ALA)
at special risk. Those who;
- have compromised or suppressed immunity through existing disease
- are pregnant or are breast-feeding (when the foetus or infant may
also be at risk). Refer to Departmental REPROHAZ
- have a history of asthma (and therefore may be at increased risk
from respiratory sensitisers) or have a skin condition such as eczema
if working with animals known to produce allergens (work covered by
a separate Special Assessment).
will be required for those at special risk (e.g. periodic clinical
examination and/or lung function test). Immunity levels should be checked
before or after immunisation where this is provided as a control measure
General Risk Control
Provision of information on the hazard and risk, and
instruction and training in use.
Lab coats must be worn by all workers in "wet"
Mouth pipetting or the use of mouth-operated suction
devices is prohibited.
70% alcohol should be used to clean work surfaces
and hands to reduce cross-contamination.
Identification of workers exposed to animal allergens
and their participation in a health surveillance scheme.
Further information and guidance
on biological safety can be found in the University of Bath Safety
Manual section 4.2.7.
The University has appointed a specialist occupational microbiological
protection adviser (Mr. Pete Jewell, 1S, ext. 6540, e-mail P.J.Jewell@bath.ac.uk)
and an adviser, essentially for genetic modification, on biological safety
(Dr. Mark Enright, 4S, ext 6871, e-mail M.C.Enright@bath.ac.uk).
- Infectious disease caused by pathogenic micro-organism.
- Toxic effects caused by microbial, animal or plant toxins.
- Possible carcinogenic effects caused by oncogenic viruses.
- Physical damage caused by a biting or scratching animal.
- (A separate Special Assessment covers respiratory sensitisation
or allergy to non-pathogenic organisms, body product or body fluid
(e.g. small mammals, locust or Manduca scales, nematode worm body
fluid or wild bird products)).
Risk factors for consideration.
Work with any agent capable of causing severe human
Carrying out activities or processes which may
produce aerosols of biological agents (including loading API strips
and ELISA/microtitre plates).
Handling sharp instruments such as hypodermic needles,
scalpels, razor blades, broken glass or jagged metal which may be
Work with large quantities or high titres of biological
The propagation or culturing of biological agents,
especially those that are pathogenic.
Work with agents, especially parasites, which have
variable life-cycle pathogenicity.
Work with unscreened human or animal samples or
tissues from a high risk population or infected source.
Work involving tissue (or blood) taken from yourself
or lab colleagues if the tissue could be transformed and reintroduced
back into the donor (possibly via an aerosol).
Work with cell lines or strains that are not fully
characterised, which are derived from high-risk sources or which
may be contaminated with adventitious agents.
Work with agents known to be drug-resistant or
which have been genetically modified so that they are intentionally
Work with free plasmid DNA, particularly if it
encodes oncogenic proteins and is designed for expression in mammalian
The presence of unprotected wounds, abrasions or
scratches on the hands, arms or face which may come into contact
or be splashed with blood, blood-contaminated articles or pathogenic
Any person working with genetically modified organisms
(GMOs) must be authorised by the University GM Safety Committee
(via the Biological Safety Officer). GM projects must be similarly
Avoid working with a viable pathogenic organism
where possible or use the organism of least hazard consistent with
the proposed work.
Assign a hazard group (1 to 4 according to the
ACDP criteria - refer to the UoB SM section 4.2.7
and the ACDP document "The
Approved List of biological agents
" - June 2004) to infectious
biological agents and only work in laboratories or rooms with the
containment level and measures appropriate for that group.
Ensure that appropriate storage, use, disposal
and emergency procedures have been established before ordering any
hazardous biological agent. Particular attention must be paid to
using specified decontaminant solutions for microbiological spillages.
Carry out manipulations or activities likely to
generate an aerosol only in suitable microbiological safety cabinet
(Class I for operator protection or Class II for operator and product
protection, as defined by BS 5726). Further details can be found
in Departmental FUM3.2
Avoid the use of sharp objects or implements where
possible. If unavoidable make sure that they are put into appropriate
puncture-resistant containers for safe disposal.
Wear protective clothing (properly fastened laboratory
coat and safety spectacles). Suitable and/or additional eye/face
protection may also be necessary. Wear disposable gloves when handling
infectious or contaminated material. Examine all personal protective
clothing and equipment before use and replace any that are damaged
or likely to be ineffective.
Avoid hand to mouth/eye/face contact and thoroughly
wash your hands before leaving the lab.
Do not eat, drink, smoke, apply cosmetics or manipulate
contact lenses in any "wet" laboratories or store-room
where biological agents are kept or used.
Do not mouth pipette or use mouth-operated suction
devices to transfer culture media or any fluids.
Decontaminate benches and other surfaces that may
be contaminated at least once a day and whenever a spill of viable
material has occurred. Keep freshly-made stocks of suitable disinfectant
available within the laboratory.
On a frequent basis, routinely replace the water
in, and clean, water baths. This is also essential when a spillage
of viable organisms or nutrient media has occurred.
Place all infectious or contaminated microbiological
waste in suitable containers for autoclaving or for soaking in decontaminant
solutions. Human or animal wastes for incineration must be securely
stored frozen in colour-coded plastic bags prior to despatch.
Do not remove infectious or contaminated material
from the laboratory to another area unless it is suitably packaged
in a sealed and labelled container.
Infectious materials may be centrifuged in the
open laboratory if sealed rotors or sealed buckets are used and
if these are opened only in a functioning microbiological safety
Immunisation and regular booster injections should
be provided if appropriate as a supplementary safety precaution
for those who may be exposed to pathogenic micro-organisms.
This assessment was drafted by Peter Jewell and originally adopted
by the Safety Team in May 1998 and reviewed in April 2000, May 2001,
May 2003 and May 2005.
It will be reviewed again in May 2007.
Signed by Peter Jewell
Departmental Safety Co-ordinator
Signed by Professor Jonathan Slack,
Head of Department
1st June 2005