Biological Safety Self-Audit Form
University of Alabama Environmental Health & Safety (348-5905)
Building ____________________________________ Room Number _________ Principal Investigator _______________________________
Date _____________________ Audit Performed by______________________________
Laboratory Personnel Present_______________________________________________________________
Perform this self-audit every 6 months (January and June), and with every new employee or student. Please consult EHS (348-5905; firstname.lastname@example.org) for specific guidance, questions, or clarification.
References to many of the following statements, as well as supporting information can be found in:
Biosafety in Microbiological and Biomedical Laboratories, 4th edition, 1999, CDC/NIH
Managing Regulated Medical Waste, 2001, NYS Department of Health
Recombinant DNA Guidelines (also, Risk Group Classification of Agents, Appendix B), 2001, NIH
Risk Group Classification for Infectious Agents, 1999, ABSA
Laboratory Biosafety Guidelines, 1996, Health Canada
A “No” answer requires corrective action or an explanation as to why the practice is not followed.
Description of Condition Yes/No Comments/Explanation
1. Eating, drinking, handling contact lenses, applying cosmetics, and mouth YES / NO
pipetting are prohibited in the laboratory or animal room.
Store and consume food and drink outside of the designated area. Avoid contact with mucous
membranes of the mouth, nose, and eyes, as this is a route of transmission for many infectious
agents. Use mechanical devices when pipetting all samples.
2. Hands are washed after handling potentially infectious material, removing YES / NO
gloves, and before leaving the laboratory.
Personal and environmental contamination can be effectively controlled with routine
hand washing with regular soap and water.
3. Access to the laboratory or animal room is restricted when infectious agents YES / NO
The director or principal investigator of a work area can restrict access. Personnel entering the
area are made aware of potential hazards and symptoms of exposure. The type of infectious
agent and the work environment will dictate the appropriate immunizations and participation of
an employee in an occupational health program.
4. Work surfaces are decontaminated at least once per day and always after a YES / NO
spill of potentially infectious material.
Use fresh solutions of an effective disinfectant (e.g., 1:10 dilution of bleach, an iodophor such as
Wescodyne, etc.) ensuring adequate contact time with the contaminated surfaces.
5. Sharps are handled safely and alternatives are considered. YES / NO
Exercise caution when handling any contaminated sharps (e.g., hypodermic syringes and
needles, broken glassware, etc.). Substitute plasticware for glass items whenever possible. Use
hypodermic syringes and needles (preferably needle locking syringes) only when no other
alternative is available. Evaluate the use of safer syringe/needle units, such as those with
retractable guards or those that re-sheathe the needle. Avoid recapping needles.
6. All contaminated liquid and solid wastes are decontaminated by a proven YES / NO
method before disposal.
If yes, please indicate the method used: Autoclave ( ) Chemical Disinfection ( ) Both ( )
1. Laboratory coats, gowns, or uniforms are worn in the laboratory or animal YES / NO
Select appropriate personal protective equipment so as to prevent contamination of the
employee’s work or street clothes. Remove this protective clothing before leaving the laboratory
or animal handling area. Closed shoes and long pants are recommended when working with
infectious materials or hazardous chemicals.
2. Gloves are worn when you anticipate contact with potentially infectious YES / NO
agents or contaminated surfaces.
Wear suitable gloves (e.g., latex, nitrile, vinyl) when handling potentially infectious agents, or
when contacting surfaces potentially contaminated with infectious materials. Please note that a
different glove type may be needed when handling chemicals. Discard gloves when they are torn
or overtly contaminated, and do not wash or reuse disposable gloves. Remove gloves when you
complete work with infectious materials and before you leave the work area. Wash your hands
after removing gloves.
3. Protective eyewear is worn when there is a potential of splashes of YES / NO
4. A biological safety cabinet is used whenever there is a potential for creating YES / NO
aerosols or splashes of infectious materials, or when high concentrations or
large volumes of infectious agents are used.
Use a biological safety cabinet when there is the likely presence of an infectious agent
transmissible by the aerosol route. A properly operating and certified class I or II biological
safety cabinet is used when performing procedures that might cause splashing, spraying, or
splattering (e.g., blending, sonicating). A class II cabinet will protect the operator as well as the
integrity of the sample or product. Certify the biological safety cabinet annually or whenever a
cabinet is moved. Locate cabinets away from traffic patterns, doors and vents. Train personnel
in the proper use of the cabinet. Please note that a biological safety cabinet is not a chemical
fume hood, nor is it a substitute for good aseptic techniques.
5. An autoclave is available. YES / NO
It is good practice to autoclave all laboratory wastes to minimize the possible hazards for
personnel handling potentially infectious waste. However, autoclaving is not considered a
final treatment . See #13 below.
6. Handwashing facilities are provided. YES / NO
A sink is available for handwashing within the laboratory or animal room. Soap dispensers and
appropriate toweling or hand dryers are available.
7. Eyewash and emergency showers are readily accessible. YES / NO
This safety equipment is available for accidental spills or splashes of hazardous chemicals or
1. Infectious material-specific training is provided. YES / NO
Before work commences, employees receive specific information on the infectious agent(s),
including details on potential hazards, necessary precautions to minimize exposure, and
symptoms of exposure. Additional training is provided as necessary to reflect changes in
procedure or new information. Training is documented and updated.
2. Training for potential exposure to bloodborne pathogens is provided. YES / NO
All employees working with human blood, tissues, or other potentially infectious material,
receive annual OSHA training.
3. Standard operating procedures are available. YES / NO
These SOP’s should include experimental protocols, daily housekeeping, waste disposal, and
emergency plans covering accidental spills, personal contamination, and security procedures.
4. The laboratory or animal room is appropriately posted and labeled. YES / NO
Label the laboratory or animal room entrance with the biohazard symbol and other information
including the biosafety level, agent(s) in use, personnel contact information, and personal
protective equipment required for entry or when handling infectious materials. This can be done by
submitting a decal request to EHS. Additionally, identify any equipment used for storage or
manipulation of infectious agents (e.g., incubators, freezers, centrifuges, etc.) with the biohazard
symbol. If you do not have these labels, contact EHS to request these stickers.
5. Hypodermic syringes and needles are controlled. YES / NO
Stocks of unused syringes and needles and those not in use are secured in
locked drawers or cabinets. An inventory of purchases and distribution is kept.
6. Laboratory personnel and animal handlers receive appropriate YES / NO
immunizations and/or enrolled in a suitable occupational health/monitoring
program, when applicable.
Personnel receive immunizations for the agents handled or potentially handled (e.g., rabies,
hepatitis B), and possibly enrolled in a health monitoring program.
7. Standard operating practices and procedures are written and followed. YES / NO
Incorporate biosafety procedures in standard operating practices that address the hazards,
manipulation, storage, and disposal of infectious agents. Review these practices at least annually
or when new agents or procedures are adopted.
8. Infectious substances are shipped appropriately. YES / NO
Personnel comply with federal and international regulations, and are trained to classify, identify,
package, label, and document shipments of infectious substances for transport by air or ground.
Only someone with documented training in shipping materials signs any shipping paperwork.
9. Accidents and spills of infectious material are addressed in an emergency YES / NO
plan or protocol.
Personnel are familiar with protocols to handle spills or accidents involving infectious materials,
including isolation and decontamination of the area, equipment, and people.
10. Potential exposures to infectious materials are reported immediately. YES / NO
Report potential exposures to infectious material to the director of the laboratory or animal
facility, and the biological safety officer, and EHS. Seek medical evaluation and surveillance from
health services personnel. Complete an accident report. Review incident and protocols to minimize
or eliminate recurrence.
11. Waste cultures and stocks of infectious agents, and items in contact with YES / NO
infectious materials are disposed as Regulated Medical Waste.
Dispose of infectious materials (e.g., plastic culture plates, flasks that contain infectious agents),
including mammalian cell culture wastes, and contaminated non-sharps items (e.g., gloves,
paper) in a red biohazard bag, within a biohazard-labeled container. This container is covered
when not in use. See #13 below. Liquid infectious wastes (e.g., broth) are treated with a suitable
disinfectant (e.g., 1:10 bleach) and discarded down the sanitary sewer.
12. All hypodermic syringes and needles and other contaminated sharps items YES / NO
(e.g., razor blades, scalpels, Pasteur pipettes) are disposed as Regulated
Collect sharps items in rigid plastic containers that are puncture resistant, leakproof, secured to
preclude loss of contents, and labeled with the biohazard symbol. Discard these containers when
they are ¾ full. See #13 below.
13. Red biohazard bags and sharp containers are disposed through the UA YES / NO
Regulated Medical Waste program.
Environmental Health & Safety coordinates with a vendor to collect and transport red
bag waste and sharps containers.
14. Lab workers are aware of and enforce security restrictions to the lab at all YES / NO
Doors should be locked when the lab is unoccupied. Unanticipated visitors should not be allowed in the
lab area. All visitors should be escorted at all times.