Working Safely in a Biosafety Cabinet

Preparing to work in the BSC

  • Wear appropriate personal protective equipment. Lab coat should be buttoned over street clothes and gloves should be worn to provide hand protection. Additional PPE may be used depending upon the outcome of a risk assessment.
  • Check certification sticker to confirm that BSC has been certified within the past 12 months.
  • Operate cabinet blowers for at least 5 minutes prior to starting work.
  • Disinfect cabinet surface prior to starting work.
  • Set the sash at the correct height, 8” to 10” depending on manufacturer’s guidelines.
  • Close the drain valve under the work surface prior to beginning work so that all contaminated materials are contained within the cabinet should a large spill occur.
  • Before beginning work, the investigator must adjust the stool height so that his/her face is above the front opening.
  • Set up your cabinet to reduce potential for contamination.  All materials must be placed as far   back in the cabinet as practical, toward the rear edge of the work surface and away from the front grille of the cabinet.

BSC set up

  • Aspirator suction flasks must contain an appropriate disinfectant, and a High Efficiency Particulate Air (HEPA) in-line filter.
  • All operations should be performed on the work surface at least four (4) inches from the inside edge of the front grille.
  • Active work should flow from the clean to contaminated area across the work surface.
  • Open flames (i.e., Bunsen burners) are rarely necessary in the near microbe-free environment of a biological safety cabinet and are an artifact left over from usage older model cabinets that only provided personnel protection.

Clean Up

Wipe-down  interior surfaces with the appropriate disinfectant.  Remove  gloves and gowns in a manner to prevent contamination of unprotected skin and aerosol generation and wash hands.