Environmental Health & Safety

Housekeeping and Maintenance for Level 2 Biosafety Laboratories


January 2010

The following guidelines and procedures shall be used by the Physical Plant before housekeeping and maintenance activities and initiatives are undertaken for the Level 2 Biosafety Laboratory Facility. The sole purpose of this guideline is to protect the health and safety of our employees and to prevent the spread of contamination.

In accordance with regulatory requirements of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and the recommended practices established by the Center for Disease Control (CDC) and the National Institute for Health, the Department of Environmental Health & Safety has established the following protocols for the entry, housekeeping, and maintenance of a Level 2 Biosafety Laboratory:

  • Before housekeeping or maintenance activities can begin, the Physical Plant employee, outside contractor, or any other person not identified on the Safety Information Card shall request authorization from either the Safety Coordinator or Faculty Member Responsible for that specific laboratory before entry can be made.
  • Before housekeeping or maintenance activities can begin, the laboratory shall have created a Biosafety Manual that identifies hazards that may be present or encountered and shall describe the proper procedures and techniques for personnel to minimize risks. It shall be the responsibility of the site specific Faculty Member or Safety Coordinator to oversee the writing and implementation of the above referenced document.
  • The door(s) to the Level 2 Biosafety Laboratory Facility from the corridor shall have the following signage in place for health and safety reasons:
    Safety Info Card
  1. The Amherst College Safety Information Card filled out in its entirety and posted on the door.
  2. A sign attached on the inside of the door vision panel that can be turned over when necessary to indicate that the room has been decontaminated and made ready for additional housekeeping activities which are to be performed by the Custodial Department.
    1. A biohazard label must appear on the door that indicates:
      • the name of the infectious agent
      • the biosafety level, and
      • any special requirements for entry
  3. All bio-hazardous material within the laboratory facility must be clearly labeled. The labels must appear on all equipment that contains bio-hazardous material such as, but not limited to, the following:
    • bottles
    • refrigerators
    • waste containers
    • laundry bags
    • other containers that contain blood or other potentially infectious materials
  4. Access to Level 2 Biosafety Laboratory must be restricted to only authorized personnel when work is in progress.
  5. All work surfaces must be decontaminated at least once daily and after any spill of viable material. The sign on the door must indicate when decontamination procedures have taken place.
  6. All infectious liquid or solid waste must be decontaminated before disposal.
  7. Use gloves while working in the laboratory.
    • Do not touch other surfaces (i.e., door handles, elevator buttons) with the same gloves that are used for cleaning.
    • Remove and properly dispose of gloves before leaving the facility.
    • After work in the laboratory has been completed, wash hands thoroughly for at least 15 seconds using soap and water.
  8. Floor Maintenance:
    1. Minimize the amount of airborne dust created during sweeping activities.
      • Mist the area with Lysol IC Spray or a similar product before sweeping or using a HEPA vacuum.
      • Dust can be placed in the normal room waste receptacle.
      • Using Lysol IC Spray, decontaminate the broom, and allow the broom to sit for 20 minutes before using the broom in another location.
    2. Wash the floor of the laboratory with either a 1:6 bleach solution or Lysol IC and water.
      • Provided that one of the two solutions above are used, the mops may be used elsewhere.
      • After the floor has been completely washed, allow the mop to soak in the solution for 20 minutes.

If an employee working in the laboratory facility has any concerns or questions before, during, or after working in the laboratory facility, he/she should contact the Laboratory Safety Coordinator for the Biology Department (Maureen Manning at 542-8328), the Faculty Member Responsible, the Chemical Hygiene Officer (Kristi Ohr at 542-2736), or the Office of Environmental Health and Safety at 542-8189. Please post this procedure in an area that is available to the employee performing the work referenced above.