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.
- Do not eat, drink
or store food in the laboratory. Store food in designated areas only.
- Do not apply
cosmetics in the laboratory
- Never mouth
pipette, always use appropriate pipetting devices
- 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)
contaminated clothing immediately after it comes in contact with
- Always wash hands
after any laboratory activity, after removal of gloves or other
protective clothing, and immediately after contact with infectious
- 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)
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.
- 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
- 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.
- 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
- Keep accurate
inventories and Inform Environmental Health and Safety Office of any
infectious (biological hazardous) material you acquire, including