The key guide to microbiological safety in laboratories is Australian Standard / New Zealand Standard (AS/NZS) 2243.3:2010 Safety in Laboratories - Microbiological aspects and containment. This standard gives examples of the four risk groupings of microorganisms and details the corresponding four levels of containment required for work involving those microorganisms.
Microorganisms include protozoa and other parasites, fungi, archaea, bacteria, unicellular algae, viruses and viroids.
The four risk groupings of human and animal infectious microorganisms are:
- Risk Group 1 – low individual and community risk
- Risk Group 2 – moderate individual risk, limited community risk
- Risk Group 3 – high individual risk, limited to moderate community risk
- Risk Group 4 – high individual and community risk
For each Risk Group a different Physical Containment (PC) level applies. These are PC1, PC2, PC3 and PC4.
Researchers must be aware of their responsibilities in relation to dealing with biohazards while undertaking research or teaching at UTS. These responsibilities are found in the Research Ethics and Integrity Policy.
Researchers and subject coordinators who deal with infectious microorganisms must notify the UTS Biosafety Committee of these dealings
UTS Biosafety Committee
The Vice-Chancellor established the UTS Biosafety Committee to check that safety and environmental risks arising from research projects and teaching protocols involving risk group 2 and above are adequately managed:
Research projects involving these dealings should be registered with the UTS Biosafety Committee.
UTS: Research provide further information on biosafety at UTS (login required - UTS staff access only).
Australian Standards / New Zealand Standards
- AS/NZS 2243.3:2010 Safety in laboratories - Microbiology safety and containment. This is the key guide to microbiological safety.
- AS 2252, AS 2567, AS 2639 and AS 2647 - covers design, installation and use of biological safety cabinets.
- Department of Agriculture and Water Resources
Website: www.agriculture.gov.au/biosecurity (open an external site)
- Victorian Infectious Diseases Reference Laboratory
Website: www.vidrl.org.au (open an external site)