General Safety Guidelines
- Any activity that brings hands or fingers in contact with mucosal surface such as eating, drinking, smoking, or applying make-up shall be prohibited.
- Assure that all manipulations involving specimen processing are performed under a Class II biological safety cabinet (BSC). A Class III biological safety is recommended for culture manipulation. This protects the laboratorian from inhalation of aerosols that may be introduced during manipulation of specimens and cultures.
- Avoid traffic around the BSC when it is in use to maintain proper airflow and function.
- Remove any unnecessary items from the BSC.
- All standard personal protective equipment should be used, such as gloves, lab coats, masks, and face/eye protection. This provides protection for skin and mucous membranes from possible exposure to the specimens and cultures.
- Contaminated items such as pipettes, plastic loops, microscope slides should be soaked in 10% bleach for 2 hours before autoclaving. This disinfects all items before transferring to the autoclave.
- Always wash hands after removing gloves and before leaving the laboratory.
- Recommendations and requirements for the various biosafety levels in clinical microbiology laboratories are in the latest edition of "Biosafety in Microbiological and Biomedical Laboratories", which is also available on the internet at: www.cdc.gov/biosafety/publications/bmbl5/