By Julianne L. Baron, Ph.D., CPH, RBP, President of Science and Safety Consulting
National and international guidelines recommend or require worker training be about job-specific topics including potential hazards, manipulations of infectious agents, precautions for minimizing exposure, aseptic technique, and standard microbiological practices or good microbiological practices and procedures. They also describe the importance of conducting a risk assessment for this work, which should review worker training and their familiarity with safe practices and procedures.
Work with biological agents, especially work with unknown specimens, work that may generate aerosols, droplets, or splashes, or work with high concentrations or large volumes of materials, should be conducted within a primary containment device, often a Biological Safety Cabinet (BSC). Therefore, the BSC is a critical engineering control used to minimize exposure to biohazardous materials. However, users may or may not be trained specifically to use it - especially those working at lower levels of containment.
This article provides information for creating your BSC training program including why proper BSC use is important, how to facilitate learning transfer, an annotated list of BSC resources and videos, and discusses situations when your BSC manufacturer could provide additional helpful resources.