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Biosafety - working practices and managing safety at Containment Level 3


This course will allow attendees to achieve a greater understanding of the work carried out within a microbiological Containment Level 3 facility, the equipment and personal protective equipment (PPE) used and the concepts and philosophy of working with biological agents at that level of containment.  It will also cover the design, management, maintenance, testing and legislative requirements associated with Containment Level 3 laboratory facilities. It will provide the skills and confidence to deal with accidents and incidents. The course is designed in line with HSE's newly published guidance 'Management and operation of microbiological containment laboratories'.

The course will be a combination of presentations and scenario-based exercises, as well as practical sessions in HSE's Containment Level 3 laboratory suite, to provide a full understanding of the design, operation and use of such facilities.

What the course will cover

The course will cover the following:

  • Relevant legislation, guidance and industry best practice;
  • The role of HSE and the HSE inspector;
  • Biological agent categorisation and risk assessment;
  • Biosafety management including training/competence, supervision, maintenance, working with contractors and monitoring/auditing arrangements;
  • Containment Level 3 facility design, working practices (eg transfer and transport of biological agents, handling of liquid cultures) and use of laboratory equipment (eg microbiological safety cabinets, centrifuges);
  • Human factors in the context of approaches to working at high containment and investigating near misses and incidents;
  • Use of PPE including respiratory protection equipment;
  • Waste management, sterilisation/disinfection and fumigation processes;
  • Dealing with and investigating near misses, incidents and emergencies;
  • HSE Inspection & investigation processes including how to prepare for an HSE inspection
  • Common enforcement topics;
  • Issues that are likely to trigger HSE enforcement action including the factors taken into account and how an inspector forms their opinion;

Who should attend?

  • Laboratory staff planning to work at Containment Level 3;
  • Refresher training for current Containment Level 3 laboratory staff; also
  • Safety Advisors/Biological Safety Officers; or
  • Laboratory managers of Containment Level 3 facilities.

Previous experience of working at Containment Level 2 is assumed.

Who will present the course?

The course will be delivered by:

  • Members of the Microbiology Research Team with more than 40 years combined experience in occupational health and safety including working with Hazard Group 3 pathogens;
  • An HSE microbiology specialist with responsibility for inspection of high containment laboratories to provide an insight into regulatory and enforcement approaches;
  • Human factors specialists;
  • PPE specialists;
  • Ventilation systems specialists.


The course will be run at the HSE Science and Research Centre in the spa town of Buxton in the heart of the Peak District and has good links to mainline train stations and Manchester International Airport.

We can also offer bespoke courses based on the above or other related courses, e.g., refresher courses for laboratory managers, which can be conducted either at Buxton or at your site.


£2,650 per person (includes course notes, lunch and refreshments).

Please note that all courses must be paid for via credit card at the time of booking.

Some of our training courses can also be delivered in-company, please contact us to discuss your requirements.

Telephone: +44 (0)203 028 3704

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