Science & Research

Volume IV - 2.3 Safety and Hazardous/Infectious Waste

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Orientation and Training
Food and Drug Administration



Section 2 - Microbiology




A. Objective

  1. To introduce the trainee to laboratory safety practices.
  2. To introduce the trainee to the hazards involved in working with pathogens and/or their toxins such as Salmonella and Clostridium botulinum toxin.
  3. To develop the trainee’s awareness of procedures for the proper segregation and disposal of laboratory waste products.
  4. To identify resources which can assist the employee with the risk assessment process.

B. Assignment

  1. Read ORA Lab Manual, Volume III, Section 2 for safety issues.
  2. Read Laboratory Chemical Hygiene Plan.
  3. Read Laboratory Hazardous Waste Plan.
  4. Read the Biosafety in Microbiological and Biomedical Laboratories (BMBL), current edition.
  5. Read the Laboratory Biosafety Plan for local site.
  6. Read the Material Safety Data Sheets for each chemical used in the analytical procedure.

C. Questions

  1. What are the items of personal protective equipment (PPE), minimally needed, in a Biological Safety Level (BSL)-2 biological laboratory?
  2. What work practices are to be in place when working in a Biological Safety Level (BSL)-2 laboratory? For BSL-3?
  3. Describe and give examples of food borne disease microorganisms that cause infections, disease, or other health hazards and identify their biosafety levels.
  4. Describe proper procedures for disposal of used media. Describe how to use and operate an autoclave safely.
  5. What is a MSDS (Material Safety Data Sheet)? Where are the MSDSs located? What information can be found on a chemical reagent hazard label?
  6. Does the state regulate medical waste? What laboratory wastes are permitted to enter the sewer? What laboratory wastes are incinerated?
  7. What are the guidelines for handling food microorganisms (mostly bacteria or their toxins) in the BMBL?
  8. What are engineering controls? Describe the proper use of these engineering controls in a food microbiology laboratory.
  9. What are administrative controls? Describe administrative controls designed to minimize the risks of hazardous agent exposure to those personnel who are not directly involved with their manipulation. List those administrative controls that assist in the maintenance of quality control.
  10. What safety equipment is normally found within a microbiological laboratory?
  11. What types of laboratory procedures have the potential to generate aerosols? How can these procedures be contained? How can the generation of aerosols be minimized?
  12. What decontamination procedures are in place and when are they performed?
  13. Describe how spills are handled. Are the cleanups following a spill documented and the cleanup verified?
  14. What kind of signage is to be in place in a microbiological BSL-2 laboratory?
  15. What are the potential routes of exposure when working with infectious organisms?
  16. Why is it necessary for a minimum of two people to be working in the laboratory at any given time?
  17. Has enough training been received to perform assigned tasks and has this training been documented?
  18. Is the facility designed to prevent infectious organisms from being accidentally released to other areas in the building?
  19. Is there a sharps safety program in place to reduce hazards when handling syringes or pipettes or other sharps?
  20. Are animals used to test infectious agents? Identify what program and laws address the use of animals in research studies?
  21. Does the laboratory need to register with the CDC when working with regulated select agents?
    1. Exercises
      1. Discuss with your trainer or supervisor how etiologic isolates are shipped.
      2. Discuss with your trainer, supervisor, and/or industrial hygienist how hazardous waste is managed at the local site.

Page Last Updated: 07/14/2015
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