National Biosafety Month 2020: Update SOPs and Work Safely During COVID-19

 

October is National Biosafety Month, a time to focus on your lab’s biosafety policies and procedures. The COVID-19 pandemic has affected biological research labs in many ways, from potential difficulties obtaining personal protective equipment (PPE) and disinfectants to limiting how many people can work at a given time in a space. This year, EH&S would like labs to focus on creating or updating biosafety standard operating procedures (SOPs) and staying aware of how to work safely during COVID-19.

  • Create or refresh biosafety SOPs. Are lab personnel working remotely more often? Have them create or update biosafety SOPs for lab procedures that involve biohazards. EH&S has a new biosafety SOP template available to help. Remember to incorporate COVID safety practices into your procedures as needed.
  • Follow your COVID-19 Prevention Safety Plan. The plan is in place to help keep you safe and healthy. Plan extra time into your day so you can wash hands more frequently and decontaminate your work area more often. If you need to wear a face covering for COVID prevention during BSL-2 or higher work, wear a disposable procedure mask that can be discarded when work is complete. Do not wear a fabric face covering as it can become contaminated.

The EH&S Biological Safety team is here to support your success in safety. If you have questions or would like to consult with an EH&S biosafety officer, contact us at ehsbio@uw.edu or 206.221.7770.