STANDARDS FOR LABORATORIES
1. EN 12469 standard for safety cabinets
Safety cabinets can be divided into three classes:
Class I: Safety cabinet with an opening on the front via which the operator can perform work in the cabinets and that is designed in such a way that the employee is protected. The escape of contaminated air particles occurring in the cabinet is managed by an inward air flow via the opening on the front and by filtration of the exhaust air.
Class II: Safety cabinet with an opening on the front via which the operator can perform work in the cabinets and that is designed in such a way that the employee is protected. The risk of product and cross-contamination is low and the escape of contaminated air particles occurring in the cabinet is managed by a well-filtered inward air flow and by filtration of the exhaust air. Note: This is generally achieved with a downward (laminar) flow in one direction into the cabinet and an air curtain on the front of the opening.
Class III: Safety cabinet in which the working area is completely closed and the operator is separated from the work by a physical barrier (such as gloves that are fastened mechanically to the cabinet). Filtered air is constantly supplied to the cabinet and the exhaust air is treated to prevent the escape of microorganisms.
2. WHO Biosafety Manual
This manual distinguishes between risk levels from 1 to 4 with the aim of preventing exposure to harmful microorganisms, where risk level 1 represents the lowest risk and risk level 4 the highest risk. Levels 1 and 2 are not regarded as containment laboratories, while levels 3 and 4 are. The section ‘Code of Practice’ deals with access, personal protection, procedures, laboratory working areas and biosafety management.
The section ‘Design and Facilities’ covers the design features. The section ‘Laboratory equipment’ presents the basic equipment for biosafety laboratories. The section ‘Health and Medical Surveillance’ describes the surveillance of the health of laboratory personnel coming into contact with microorganisms with different risk levels. These are followed by sections on training, waste handling and safety with respect to chemical substances, fire, electricity and radiation.