Section 8-4. Containment measures in laboratories and isolation units

In laboratories where employees are or can be exposed to biological agents, or where laboratory are handled that have intentionally been infected with biological agents in infection risk group 2, 3 or 4, cf. Annex 2 to the Regulations concerning Action and Limit Values, or that are suspected of being carriers of such agents, the following containment measures must have been implemented in order to limit the risk of infection:
  1. a.
    at least containment level 2 for activities associated with group 2 biological agents;
  2. b.
    at least containment level 3 for activities associated with group 3 biological agents;
  3. c.
    at least containment level 4 for activities associated with group 4 biological agents.
Containment level 2 or better is required in laboratories where material is handled that may contain biological agents that can cause disease in humans, even if it is not the laboratory’s intention to work with biological agents. Containment level 3 or 4 must be used in cases where this is deemed necessary on the basis of current knowledge or suspicion, unless it can be established that a lower containment level is sufficient on the basis of a statement from the competent authorities.
In isolation units occupied by humans or animals that are or are assumed to be infected by biological agents in infection risk groups 3 or 4, cf. Annex 2 to the Regulations concerning Action and Limit Values, the containment measures mentioned in column A that are deemed necessary according to the risk assessment must be implemented.
The following containment measures shall be implemented in laboratories:
Containment measure
Containment level
1.The work premises shall be isolated from all other activities in the same buildingNoRecommendedYes
2.The work premises shall be marked with a biological hazard signYesYesYes
3.An anteroom shall be providedNoYes, anteroom or airlockYes, airlock
4.An observation window or similar arrangement shall be provided so that the occupants can be seenRecommendedYesYes
5.It must be possible to communicate from inside the roomRecommendedYes, handsfree telephone/calling system recommendedYes, handsfree telephone/calling system
6.The pressure in the work premises must be lower than the atmospheric pressureNoRecommended, with air pressure controlYes, with air pressure control
7.Input and extract air from the work premises must be filtered with the aid of HEPA filters or similarNoYes, extract airYes, both extract and input air
8.A safety cabinet shall be providedNoYesYes, class II safety cabinet
9.The work premises must have emergency powerNoRecommendedYes
10.Each individual laboratory must have a complete set of equipmentNoYesYes
11.An autoclave must be available in the work premisesNoYesYes
12.Surfaces must be watertight and easy to cleanYes, on worktopsYes, on worktops and floorsYes, on worktops, walls, floors and ceilings
13.Surfaces must be resistant to acids, alkalis, solvents and disinfectantsYes, on work topsYes, on worktops and floorsYes, on worktops, walls, floors and ceilings
14.The work premises must be sealable to permit disinfectionNoYesYes
15.Disinfection procedures must be specifiedYesYesYes
16.Wastewater must be disinfected before disposalNoRecommendedYes
17.Only designated employees shall have accessRecommendedYesYes, via airlock
18.Biological agents must be stored in a secure placeYesYesYes, in a place with secured access
19.Handling of infected material, including animals, shall take place in a safety cabinet, an isolated enclosure or in another appropriate containmentIf necessaryYes, if the infection is airborneYes
20.A combustion plant shall be provided for the destruction of dead animalsRecommendedYes (available)Yes, on site
21.Effective control of vectors shall be carried out, e.g. rodents and insectsRecommendedYesYes