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Safe Laboratory Practices
Laboratory Biosafety Level Criteria
Table1: Summary of  Recommended Biosafety  Levels for Infectious Agents
Table1a: Summary of Vertebrate Animal Biosafety Levels (ABSL)
Biological Emergencies
Biosafety Cabinets (BSC's)
Types of BSC's
Comparison of BSC's Characteristics
Selection of a BSC Through Risk Assessment
IBC Application Forms

Safe Laboratory Practices

Safe laboratory practices and strategies, such as containment and control of the hazards involved at the source, are necessary to prevent common means of exposure (e.g. ingestion, inhalation and inoculation) to infectious agents; reduce and/or eliminate the potential risk of laboratory-acquired infections.

General Precautions for Biological Work.

  1. Do not eat, drink or store food in the laboratory. Store food in designated areas only.
  2. Do not apply cosmetics in the laboratory
  3. Never mouth pipette, always use appropriate pipetting devices
  4. Always wear appropriate attire in the laboratory (e.g. pants and not shorts, shoes and not sandals). No matter how small is the task at hand, always use assigned protective clothing and equipment (e.g. laboratory coats, gloves, goggles, face-shield, aprons, and biological safety cabinets) where appropriate.
  5. Remove contaminated clothing immediately after it comes in contact with infectious material.
  6. Always wash hands after any laboratory activity, after removal of gloves or other protective clothing, and immediately after contact with infectious material.
  7. Manipulate all infectious materials carefully to avoid spills and production of aerosols and droplets. Aerosol generating procedures must be performed in appropriate enclosures (e.g. fume hoods. biosafety cabinets)
  8. Decontaminate work surfaces before use, after use and immediately after spills of infectious material. Use a 70% ethanol to wipe cabinet's work surfaces down, prior to and after the completion of each work session. Decontaminate with a 10% chlorine bleach solution if necessary, especially after spills.
  9. Always use disposable glass or plastic ware. If non-disposable items must be used, make sure to disinfect items before cleaning. (Use a 10% chlorine bleach solution)
  10. Restrict the use of needles, scalpels, syringes, razor blades and other sharps to those procedures for which there are no other alternatives. If they must be used, avoid self-inoculation; do not re-sheath or try to remove used needles; dispose of whole assembly in a leak-proof, and puncture-resistant container immediately after use. Never leave sharps unattended on any work surface.
  11. Discard all contaminated disposable items in autoclave bags. All infectious waste including normal cells, culture media and microorganisms must be autoclaved before disposal in the normal trash. (See infectious waste disposal procedure)
  12. Keep accurate inventories and Inform Environmental Health and Safety Office of any infectious (biological hazardous) material you acquire, including storage location.
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