HSE Biological Agents – The Principles, Design and Operation of Containment Level 4 Facilities
In the UK, the principles and standards for working with high-hazard pathogens were originally laid down in the Advisory Committee on Dangerous Pathogens (ACDP) publication Categorisation of biological agents (1984; revised in 1990 and 1995).1 This publication set new practical standards for safe working with such agents. It had the status of guidance supporting the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 19742 (HSW Act) and the Control of Substances Hazardous to Health Regulations 1988 (COSHH, now amended).
The fourth edition (1995) of Categorisation of biological agents reflected the need to implement two new European Community Directives: the Biological Agents Directive (90/679/EEC),3 which was implemented by new COSHH regulations in 1994 (revised in 2000 and 2002);4 and the second Directive, 93/88/EEC (now replaced by 2000/54/EC)3 which contained a European Community classification of biological agents capable of causing infection. This classification was implemented by means of an approved list of biological agents and has legal status under COSHH.
The ACDP has been working to revise and update the 1995 Categorisation of biological agents guidance over the last five years. The 1995 guidance has now been replaced by three separate documents:
- The management, design and operation of microbiological containment laboratories HSE Books 2001,5 which is aimed at those responsible for the management and operation of Containment Level 2 and 3 (CL2 and CL3) laboratories;
- Biological agents: Managing the risks in laboratories and healthcare premises HSE 2005,6 which is aimed at the healthcare sector; and
- Biological agents: The principles, design and operation of Containment Level 4 facilities – this document, which is aimed at high-hazard containment facilities.
This publication is available for free download. Biological Agents – Containment Level 4