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Health and Safety Directorate

Working Safely with Biological Hazards - HS020

This non-accredited course will provide an introduction to the basic principles of bio-containment and procedures for working safely with biological hazards in the laboratory or clinical setting (e.g. human or animal pathogens, clinical samples or materials, animal / insect samples or materials). Topics covered include bio-containment equipment and procedures, handling of biological/clinical waste, disinfection & decontamination, personal protective equipment, biological sensitisers (animal allergens), transport, storage and the principles of risk assessment (using Queen Mary Biosafety risk assessment template). Relevant legislative requirements in the context of the safe management of biological hazards will be covered. This course covers work generally conducted at Containment Level 1 & 2 laboratories (or equivalent).

Duration: 3.5 hours delivery time via Microsoft Teams 

This session will be delivered online via MS Teams. Please access this session using the link provided in the outlook calendar invite.


  1. Identify the hazards arising from working with biological / clinical samples / pathogens and potential routes for infection / exposure
  2. Understand the principles of bio-containment in the laboratory or clinical area
  3. Know the measures required to contain biohazards from start of work through to waste disposal and storage
  4. Be aware of relevant H&S legislation underpinning biological hazard work
  5. Be able to conduct a risk assessment of their work

Certification:  A certificate of attendance will be generated on completion of an online knowledge quiz on QMPlus. Access details will be emailed to all attendees.

Suitability: For laboratory research, technical, clinical and teaching staff working with clinical and biological material (tissue, blood, bodily fluids and cells), human or animal / plant / insect pathogens. Particularly useful for those starting full time laboratory work (e.g. new PhD and post-doctoral staff).

Requalification / Refresher:  Working Safely with Biohazards REFRESHER - HS030 - book on using the form linked on this page when current training validity expires (4 years).

Bookings: Please book on via the CPD Platform, if you have any issues gaining access please contact the IT Helpdesk.

Please note there are separate ‘first take’ courses covering genetically modified organisms (Genetically Modified (GM) Agents Risk Assessment and Notification course, HS029), and higher risk pathogen work (Containment Level 3 Principles and Practices, HS019).

External organisations:  Open to attendees from external organisations but please note this course is geared towards Queen Mary requirements. There is normally a fee chargeable to other organisations see QMUL e-Shop for details. Please complete the External Organisation Non-Accredited H&S Training Request Form.

Further Information: If you require any further details, please contact the HSD Helpdesk.

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