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Containment Level 2

Procedure for Containment Level 2 (CL2)

Additional requirements over CL1

  • The hand washbasin must be fitted with taps operable without being touched by hand and sited near the exit to the laboratory.
  • If the room is mechanically ventilated, it must be maintained at negative pressure at least while the work is in progress.
  • Restrict access and ensure space is adequate for the tasks.
  • Wear laboratory coats or gowns, which are side or back fastening, in the room and remove when leaving.
  • Wear appropriate gloves at all times when handling samples.  Damaged skin must be covered with a protective waterproof dressing.  Remove gloves before leaving room.
  • There must be specified decontamination procedures, including those for disinfection and for the safe handling and disposal of waste.
  • Work over spill trays and/or Bench-Kote (or similar).
  • Transport samples in robust leak-proof secondary containment.
  • Store biological agents safely.
  • Centrifuge samples in sealed safety buckets or rotors.  Open within a safety cabinet whenever possible.
  • Work likely to generate significant aerosols (e.g. pipetting) must take place in a safety cabinet or equivalent containment.
  • Use sharps only if there is no alternative.  Place directly into sharps bins for disposal.  Autoclave sharps bins before incineration wherever possible.
  • A biohazard sign should be displayed outside the entrance to the room.
  • Only trained or fully supervised staff may work in CL2 facilities.

Biohazard sign

Biohazard signs will be placed at the entrance to CL2 facilities or to delineate a work area or an item of equipment used for storage or handling of CL2 hazards within an otherwise CL1 area.

Access restrictions

Doors must always be kept closed while work is in progress. Visitors should be given protective clothing and safety instructions as necessary.  Cleaners and service engineers must only be allowed to enter if safe to do so.

Control of access to CL2 facilities for maintenance and service personnel should be through a permit to work system via the Biological Safety Officer, Departmental Safety Office or Bioengineering Technician.

Emergency procedures

Ensure procedures are in place for foreseeable emergencies.  Examples are the procedures to be adopted for spillages inside and outside safety cabinets and for the failure of equipment that may lead to loss of containment (e.g. the failure of a safety cabinet or a centrifuge rotor or bucket).

Protective clothing

Protective clothing must be worn. The laboratory coat/gown should have a high neck and close fitting cuffs with either back or side fastenings.  They should be changed frequently and always immediately after contamination.  Laboratory coats/gowns must not be worn outside the facility, but changed for another as necessary.

Gloves of adequate resistance should be worn.  Two pairs should be worn if there is a risk of gloves being torn or punctured when high risk samples are handed and where the loss of dexterity does not prejudice personal safety.

Use eye/face protection for work on the open bench.


For most laboratory work, staff are advised to ensure that they are suitably immunised against tetanus.  In addition, all staff handling human blood and tissues are strongly advised to be immunised against hepatitis B virus (ask Departmental Safety Office for details).

Accident reporting and investigation

In the event of an accident, any resulting wound should be encouraged to bleed and the area washed with soap and water.  Scrubbing should be avoided.  The wound should be covered with a waterproof dressing.  Any contamination on skin eye or mucous membranes should be washed immediately.

Accidents should be reported to and recorded by the person responsible for the work.  A full accident record should be completed as soon as possible.

Designated workstations

Work at a designated and delineated workstation, which is clearly identified.  Ensure that there is sufficient room to work safely and that the work is free from the risk of disturbance or accidental contact with others.

Clear the workstation of any unnecessary equipment or apparatus before the work starts.  The bench surface and any remaining equipment must be disinfected immediately on completion of the work.

Use of sharps

The use of sharps should be avoided wherever possible.  If this is not feasible, then handling procedures should be designated to minimise the likelihood of puncture wounds.  Wherever possible, glass items must be replaced with plastic alternatives.  Used sharps should be placed directly into a sharps bin.  Do not re-sheath needles.  Sharps bins should not be overfilled.  Do not dispose of any sharps, particularly hypodermic needles via non-hazardous normal waste disposal services.  Do not dispose of any sharps in plastic bags (including plastic pipettes and pipette tips).

Laboratory equipment

All equipment should be cleaned and disinfected at the end of the working day (or after each use if it is used for other purposes).  Equipment must be decontaminated prior to maintenance work.  Complete and sign an equipment decontamination certificate (see Bioengineering Technician or Departmental Safety Office).

Centrifuge samples only in sealed buckets or rotors (to BSEN 1010-2-020).  These should be cleaned and disinfected regularly and immediately following leakage.  Rotors or buckets should be opened in a safety cabinet whenever possible.  Seals on buckets and enclosed rotors should be regularly checked for wear and damage and be replaced as necessary.

Safety Office Contact Details





Inglis Building

Main Site

Trumpington Street

Cambridge CB2 1PZ


Gary Steele

Department Safety Officer

Tel: 01223 (3)32740


Steve Wickens

Department Safety Coordinator

Tel: 01223 (7)61455


Matt Greenhalgh

Department Fire Officer

Tel: 01223 (3)32765