Biosafety Cabinet Work Practices

  • Do not allow others to walk rapidly behind you when you are working.
  • Be aware of drafts from ventilation systems, doors, windows, fans, etc.
  • Plan procedures carefully. 
  • Start-up biosafety cabinet and decontaminate with Wescodyne or suitable disinfectant.
  • Let biosafety cabinet run at least 5 minutes to purge air in the work area.
  • Do not place items over front grille, do not block back grille.
  • Separate clean and contaminated items.
  • Use plastic backed towels on the work surface to absorb spills.
  • Minimize storage items in or near the biosafety cabinet.
  • Wash hands and arms before and after work.
  • Wear a rear tie gown with gathered/knitted cuffs.
  • Wear long sleeve nitrile or latex gloves.
  • Minimize movement of contaminated items over clean items (work from clean to dirty).
  • Perform work 6 inches back of front intake grille.
  • Hold tubes, bottles, and other vessels as horizontal as possible.
  • Use horizontal pipette discard pan with a disinfectant such as Wescodyne.
  • Do not use vertical pipette canisters or use them outside of a biosafety cabinet.
  • Ultraviolet lights are not needed if good technique is followed.
  • Do not overload the cabinet. Nothing should pass out of cabinet until work is complete.
  • Place clean items toward the front, contaminated toward the rear.
  • Remove contaminated items only after sealed or decontaminated.
  • Do not use a flame.  Turbulence and filter damage may occur.
  • Use disposable loops, swabs, needles, syringes, etc. whenever possible.
  • Do not use a biosafety cabinet for storage.
  • Equipment that causes turbulence (centrifuge, blender, etc.) should be placed in back 1/3 of the work surface. All other work in the cabinet should stop while the apparatus is running.
  • Decontaminate after work is complete with Wescodyne or other appropriate disinfectants.

Biosafety Cabinet UM Policy

CDC NIH Biosafety Cabinet Guideline