Laboratory Worker Biosafety Primer

Laboratory Worker Biosafety Primer introduces the biosafety guidelines that keep workers, the environment, and the public safe. It uses the World Health Organization (WHO) process and framework to explain how to identify and assess infectious agent risk, so this content is appropriate for science workspaces worldwide. This class focuses on the hierarchy of controls, including the elimination/substitution of dangerous protocols and equipment, engineering controls, administrative controls, and personal protective equipment (PPE). Proper laboratory design is also crucial in ensuring containment and control measures are in place, so a bonus section on facility design is included. The Laboratory Worker Biosafety Primer is a need-to-have course for all who work in a science space- register today and stay safe!

Section 1: Infectious Agent Identification

Learn about biosafety guidelines, infectious agents, risk levels, and disease-causing organisms to enhance your understanding about infectious agent identification.

Section 2: Risk Assessment of Infectious Agents

Gain insights into risk factor considerations, assessment tools, infectious agent risk groups, facility assessment levels, and human risk assessment following the WHO process. 

Section 3: Engineering Controls

Explore the five levels of hierarchy of controls, including elimination, substitution, engineering control, administrative control, and personal protective equipment (PPE), along with laboratory design principles.

Section 4: Administrative Controls

Learn about the essentials of occupational health programs, emergency response procedures, laboratory biosecurity, and training, along with job rotations, sanitary requirements, and risk control measures. Understand primary biosafety regulations, both in the US and internationally, and gain access to regulatory agency reference lists.

Section 5: Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)

Discover the importance of selecting appropriate Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) based on hazard assessments. Explore commonly used and specialized PPE options, and learn how to differentiate between low-risk and high-risk situations

Five Takeaways


  1. Explain the WHO risk assessment frameworks and processes for identifying and assessing infectious agents.
  2. Discuss ways to lower exposure to infectious biological agents through engineering controls.
  3. State the administrative controls used in lab safety regulations and the role each plays.
  4. Identify the most common personal protective equipment (PPE) and explain the rationale for each.
  5. Provide examples of facility design elements that protect workers, the environment, and the public from accidental exposure or unintentional release of infectious biological agents and toxins.

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