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Bloodborne Pathogens Retraining (EHS 0738)


The supervisor has the final responsibility for assessing each circumstance and determining who may enter or work in the laboratory.

Laboratory doors are kept closed while experiments are in progress.  Names & phone numbers of laboratory personnel to be contacted in case of emergency are posted.

The Principle Investigator establishes policies and procedures whereby only persons who have been advised of the potential hazard and meet specific entry requirements (e.g., immunization enter the laboratory or animal rooms.) Laboratory access is limited by the laboratory supervisor when experiments are being conducted.  In general, persons who are at increased risk of acquiring infection are not allowed in laboratories or animal rooms. 


Biohazard Signs are posted on the outside door when infectious or human source material is in use in the laboratory.  When the infectious agent(s) in use require special provisions for entry (e.g. immunization), a hazard warning sign is posted on the access door to the laboratory work area.  The hazard warning sign identifies the infectious agent, lists the name and telephone number of the principal investigator or other responsible person(s), and indicates the special requirement(s) for entering the laboratory.

Laboratory personnel receive appropriate immunizations or tests for the agents handled or potentially present in the laboratory (e.g. hepatitis B vaccine).

Laboratory personnel receive appropriate training on the potential hazards associated with the work involved, the necessary precautions to prevent exposures, and the exposure evaluation procedures.  Personnel receive annual updates, or additional training as necessary for procedural or policy changes.

Work surfaces are decontaminated daily and following spills of organisms.


A bottle of disinfectant are kept in every work area for spills on skin or work surface.  Any spills are cleaned up immediately.

All liquid or solid wastes are decontaminated before disposal.  Contaminated materials that are to be decontaminated away from the laboratory are placed in a durable leak proof container which is closed before being removed from the laboratory.  Materials to be decontaminated at off-site from the laboratory are packaged in accordance with applicable local, state, and federal regulations, before removal from the facility.

Spills and liquid waste containing biohazardous or bloodborne pathogen materials may be decontaminated by adding household bleach to water or the liquid to be decontaminated until a 10% concentration of household bleach is achieved. A 10% household bleach solution can be made by mixing one part household bleach with 9 parts water. The bleach should remain in contact with the spill or waste material for approximately 20 minutes to ensure adequate germicidal action. Decontaminated liquid biological waste may then be poured into a sanitary sewer drain such as a laboratory sink, unless the liquid is defined as chemically hazardous or radioactive.

Solid wastes contaminated with blood borne pathogens are autoclaved or incinerated.  Solid waste containers consist of a terminal biohazards bag in a labeled, covered, autoclavable container.  Before removal from the facility, the bag are sealed and labeled with an tag (see section on Waste Disposal for details).  If there is any possibility of a hole or tear in the bag, it is autoclaved in the covered container.  All biohazards bags containing  contaminated materials are transported to the autoclave in a leak  proof container.  It is preferable to transport materials in a cart.

Any sterilization of contaminated human source material is done in an autoclave located within the building.  Autoclaves are tested periodically for proper temperature and pressure control (as per State Sanitary Code.

If you find that an autoclave which is not operating properly, please notify the PI and EHS immediately.

Contaminated materials that are to be recycled should be decontaminated by autoclaving for 30 minutes.  Materials should be collected in an autoclavable basin containing 2-3 inches of a suitable decontaminant.  Inner surfaces of items which cannot be submerged should be rinsed with a suitable decontaminant. The basin are covered before being transported to the autoclave.

Non disposable pipettes should be carefully submerged in a horizontal container filled with a suitable decontaminant.  Care should be taken to fill pipettes completely with decontaminant solution.  Pipettes should sit in the germicidal liquid for a minimum of 10 minutes before autoclaving.

Pipetting by mouth is prohibited.  Mechanical pipetting devices are to be used.

Eating, drinking, smoking, handling contact lenses, and applying cosmetics are not permitted in the work area.  Persons who wear contact lenses in laboratories should also wear goggles or a face shield.  Food is stored outside the work area in cabinets or refrigerators designated and used for this purpose only.

Persons wash their hands with a suitable germacidal soap after they handle viable materials and animals after removing gloves, and before leaving the laboratory.  Hands should be dried to prevent chafing.


A high degree of precaution must always be taken with any contaminated sharp items, including needles and syringes, slides, pipettes, capillary tubes, and scalpels.  Needles and syringes or other sharp instruments should be restricted in the laboratory for use only when there is no alternative, such as parenteral injection, phlebotomy, or aspiration of fluids from laboratory animals and diaphragm bottles.  Plastic ware should be substituted for glassware whenever possible.

Only needle-locking syringes or disposable syringe-needle units (i.e., needle is integral to the syringe) are used for injection or aspiration of blood or body fluids.  Used disposable needles must not be bent, sheared, broken, recapped, removed from disposable syringes, or otherwise manipulated by hand before disposal; rather, they are carefully placed in conveniently located puncture-resistant containers used for sharps disposal.  Non disposable sharps are placed in a hard-walled container for transport to a processing area for decontamination, preferably by autoclaving.


Broken glassware must not be handled directly by hand, but are removed by mechanical means such as a brush and dustpan, tongs, or forceps.  Containers of contaminated needles, sharp equipment, and broken glass are decontaminated before disposal, according to any local, state, or federal regulations.

Cultures, tissues, or specimens of body fluids are placed in a container that prevents leakage during collection, handling, processing, storage, transport, or shipping.

Decontamination - Laboratory equipment and work surfaces should be decontaminated with an appropriate disinfectant on a routine basis, after work with infectious or materials is finished, and especially after overt spills, splashes, or other contamination by infectious or rDNA materials.  Contaminated equipment are decontaminated according to any local, state or federal regulations before it is sent for repair or maintenance or packaged for transport in accordance with applicable local, state, or federal regulations, before removal from the facility.

You may want to place spill paper (plastic backed), a tray or a paper towel wetted with a disinfectant to protect bench or cabinet surfaces.

Spills and accidents which result in overt exposures to infectious or rDNA materials are immediately reported to the Principle Investigator.  Medical evaluation, surveillance, and treatment are provided as appropriate and written records are kept.

Animals - Animals not involved in the experiment are not allowed in the laboratory.

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