4.5.2 Safety Equipment

Safety equipment includes fume hoods, animal microisolator caging, biological safety cabinets, and a variety of other equipment such as enclosed containers (e.g., the safety centrifuge cup) which is designed to prevent aerosol release during centrifugation.  The BSC is the principal device used to provide containment of aerosols generated by many microbiological procedures.  The three types of biological safety cabinets (Class I, II, III) used in microbiological laboratories are described on pages 16-18.  Open fronted Class I and Class II BSCs are partial containment cabinets that offer significant levels of protection to laboratory personnel and to the environment when used with good microbiological techniques.  The gas-tight Class III BSC provides the highest attainable level of protection from an equipment standpoint. 

Safety equipment also includes items for personal protection such as gloves, coats, gowns, shoe covers, boots, respirators, face shields and safety glasses.  These personal protective devices are often used in combination with biological safety cabinets and other devices that contain the agents, animals or materials being studied.  In some situations where it is impractical to work in biological safety cabinets, personal protective devices may form the primary barrier between personnel and biohazardous materials.  Examples of such activities include certain animal studies, animal necropsy, production activities and activities relating to maintenance, service or support of the laboratory facility.