Biological Risk Assessment

Risk assessment is a process used to identify the hazardous characteristics of a known infectious or potentially infectious agent or material, the activities that can result in a person’s exposure to an agent, the likelihood that such exposure will cause a LAI, and the probable consequences of such an infection. The hospital born infection is called as NOCSOMIAL infection. To minimize the chances of infections, bench top in the lab is disinfected by ethanol 70%.

Infective microorganisms are classified into following risk groups.
  • Risk Group 1: no or low individual and community risk
  • Risk Group 2 moderate individual risk, low community risk
  • Risk Group 3 high individual risk, low community risk
  • Risk Group 4 high individual and community risk

For infectious agents following Bio-Safety Levels (BSL) are recommended

  • BSL 1: not known to consistently cause diseases in healthy adults
  • BSL 2: Agents associated with human disease
  • BSL 3: Indigenous or exotic agents that may cause serious or potentially lethal disease through the inhalation route of exposure. For HIV and HCV virus manipulation BLS-3 lab is recommended
  • BSL 4: Dangerous/ exotic agents which post high individual risk of aerosol-transmitted laboratory infections that are frequently fatal, for which there are no vaccines or treatments
    • For animal experimentations, the animal must be phylogenetically and developmentally sentient; i.e. it must have a brain with sufficient functional sophistication to transducer impulses in sensory and other nerves into experienced sensations.
    • As animal welfare relates to experienced sensations, the animal must be conscious; unconscious animals cannot experience anything. Limiting point during animal experimentation includes coma & absence of reflex.
    • The welfare status of an animal at any one time may vary in a continuum between extremely bad to very good.
    • Principle of 3R in animal experimentation: Replace, Reduce and refine the animal use for experimentation.


  • Appropriate hazardous, toxic, inflammable labels etc. must be displayed outside every lab where such materials are placed and/or used. The hazardous chemicals, by definition involve any substance, which can cause physical or physiological damage to human or surrounding environment.
  • The lab safety levels and responsible person's name should be displayed on the opening door of every laboratory. It is the duty of every PI/Faculty member that, they have to inform at ORIC for their biological safety level. As an introduction the categories of such research labs are presented in table-1.
  • Paste a label on your laboratory door, if you have enforced biological safety levels (BSL-2, 3 and 4) in your lab.
  • Make sure all the containers are labeled properly. Check the labels on bottles before removing their contents
  • Locate the inflammables, acids, corrosives and carcinogenic materials at separate places in the lab. All ethanol/methanol or inflammable items are stored in opposite to laminar airflow or gas burner points. Such chemicals including acids or corrosive materials are stored in the cabinets close to the ground.
  • All the inflammable or highly reactive compounds like methanol or SDS should be opened in fume hood to avoid respiratory tract damage.
  • Every student and technician in the lab must get 2 hours mandatory training arranged by the university.
  • Every lab should have a responsible person in addition to the PI for chemicals.
  • Develop awareness among researchers in lab meetings about lab safety.
  • Cooperate with safety officer and committee for implementing the safety measures.
  • Every lab should be equipped with safety goggles. All the researchers using UV lights, heating/boiling liquids on hot plates, must use safety goggles.
  • Every researcher should use latex gloves to deal with carcinogenic, corrosive and hazardous microbes.
  • All PIs must purchase autoclavable bags for autoclaving microbes, transgenic animals and plants, before discarding in regular trash.
  • A worker using the instrument/chemical is responsible for personal safety. Do not touch any equipment or instrument if you are not trained for it. Ask the laboratory supervisor or the PI for help.
  • Get training for work safety in the lab. If you do not understand a direction or part of a procedure.


  • No researcher should work alone in the laboratory. Always inform your supervisor that you will work in the laboratory alone.
  • When first entering the lab, never touch any equipment/chemical or instrument with your hands. Always seek permission from the supervisor.
  • Only perform the experiments authorized by your supervisor. You cannot start work if you are not authorized.


  • Practical jokes and pranks are very dangerous and are strictly prohibited.
  • Make sure the lab is well ventilated. Inform security if there is a gas leakage or electricity problems.
  • Be alert and work with caution. Inform your teacher if your co-workers are not working safely.
  • The freezers storing ethanol/enzymes/hazardous chemicals or microbes cannot be used for food storage. Every microwave and freezer in the laboratory should be labeled for "No food items here".
  • Researchers wearing contact lens must be warned for exposure to UV light or flames due to chemicals burning.
  • Keep the work area clear of all materials except those needed for your work. Dress properly during a laboratory activity and wear Lab Coats. Coats should be hung in the hall or placed in a locker. Extra books, purses, etc. should be kept away from equipment that requires air-flow or ventilation to prevent overheating. Long hair, dangling jewelry, and loose or baggy clothing are a hazard in the laboratory. Long hair must be tied back, and dangling jewelry and baggy clothing must be secured. Shoes must completely cover the foot. No sandals allowed while working.
  • Drinking water from lab sink is strongly prohibited. Every sink should be with a note, "no drinking water".
  • Do not taste or smell any chemical in the lab.
  • Drinking water from lab sink is strongly prohibited. Every sink should be with a note, "no drinking water".
  • Never suck the pipette with mouth. Always use proper equipment to suck chemicals.
  • Never return the un-used chemical to the original bottle. Transfer it to a new bottle and mention the date of use and removal.
  • Examine glassware before each use. Never use chipped, cracked, or dirty glassware.
  • Do not immerse hot glassware in cold water. The glassware may shatter.
  • Never look into a container that is being heated. The vapors may be dangerous and can damage eyes or skin.

Online Biosafety Test

Get Knowledge

Test your Knowledge

Access from Anywhere