Bio-Chemical Safety

Within each type of biohazard there are different degrees of risk, which require different levels of containment. The term “containment” is used in describing safe methods for managing biohazardous agents in the laboratory environment where they are being handled or maintained. Primary containment, the protection of personnel and the immediate laboratory environment from exposure, is provided by good technique and the use of appropriate safety equipment that has been properly designed, located, installed, and maintained. Secondary containment, the protection of the environment external to the laboratory from exposure to biohazardous agents, is provided by a combination of facility design and operational practices. See Section III – Containment for more information. The four biosafety levels for containment purposes and the types of agents placed in them are:

Biosafety Level 1

Biosafety Level 1 is suitable for work involving agents of no known or of minimal potential hazard to laboratory personnel and the environment.

Biosafety Level 2

Biosafety Level 2 is suitable for work involving agents of moderate potential hazard to personnel and the environment. Agents which may produce disease of varying degrees of severity from exposure by injection, ingestion, absorption, and inhalation, but which are contained by good laboratory techniques are included in this level. Any agent from outside of Georgia which may require a state or federal permit for importation are to be contained at BSL-2 or greater.

Biosafety Level 3

Biosafety Level 3 is applicable to clinical, diagnostic, teaching, and research or production facilities involving indigenous or exotic strains of indigenous agents which may cause serious or potentially lethal disease as a result of exposure by inhalation. Autoinoculation and ingestion also represent major hazards to personnel working with agents in this classification. A greater level of attention to microbiological practices, laboratory containment and safety equipment, and facilities is required.

Biosafety Level 4

Biosafety Level 4 is required for work with dangerous and exotic agents, which pose a high individual risk of life-threatening disease. Because maximum containment facilities are not available on campus and due to the proximity of the Centers for Disease Control (Atlanta) which has BSL-4 laboratories, work with Biosafety Level 4 agents is not permitted at the Georgia Southern University.
Biosafety Manual pdf
Biomedical Waste Regulation pdf
Biomedical Waste Disposal Specifications pdf
Biosafety Inspection Form pdf
Bloodborne Pathogens pdf
  • Experiments using pathogenic organisms or DNA from pathogenic organisms classified as requiring Biosafety Level 4 are prohibited.
  • Experiments using any organism or agent that is prohibited by any federal or state agency from importation into Georgia are prohibited.
  • Experiments using agents or organisms that require containment facilities or equipment which are not available at Georgia Southern University are prohibited.

The following are the key elements, which can be used at the University of Georgia to control occupational exposures to bloodborne pathogens. All blood and body fluids must be considered as potentially infectious and personnel are to use appropriate protective measures to prevent exposure.

Personnel Practices
  • When hands become contaminated with blood or body fluids.
  • When gloves are removed.
  • Before going to lunch, breaks, or home.
Contaminated Needles and Other Sharps
  • DO NOT recap, bend, or break used needles.
  • Discard needles & sharps in appropriate “Sharps” containers.
  • Transport reusable sharps in leak-proof puncture-resistant container.
  • Use mechanical device (forceps) to place contaminated broken glass into appropriate containers for autoclaving.
Personal Protective Equipment for Blood or Body Fluid Contact
  • Gloves when touching blood or body fluids, mucous membranes, or non-intake skin of patients.
  • Gloves when handling items or surfaces soiled with blood or body fluids.
  • Gloves when performing vascular access procedures (phlebotomy).
  • Appropriate gowns or aprons when splashes or soiling of skin or clothing with blood or body fluids is likely.
  • Masks and goggles, or face shield during procedures likely to generate splashes of blood or body fluids into the mouth, nose, or eye.
Environmental Controls
General Housekeeping
  • Maintain work area in clean and sanitary condition.
  • Decontaminate work surfaces after procedures and when contaminated.
  • Remove any protective work surface coverings when contaminated.
Blood or body Fluid Spills
  • Soak up spills with absorbent material (paper towels).
  • Decontaminate area with appropriate disinfectant.
  • Dispose of contaminated material appropriately.
Biomedical Wastes
  • Are to be disposed of according to State of Georgia Regulations.
  • Consider all laboratory specimens of human or animal origin as potentially infectious.
  • Use leak proof containers for laboratory specimens.
  • Place container in a sealable secondary container for transport.
Exposures to blood or body fluids via broken skin or needle sticks or mucous membrane contact:
  • Wash affected area immediately and apply first aid.
  • Contact GSU Health Service as soon as possible for post exposure follow-up 8-5641.
  • Report injury to Environmental Safety 8-5234.

Last updated: 8/29/2016

Environmental Health & Safety • PO Box 8012, Statesboro, GA 30460 • (912) 478-7161