The University has established planned arrangements for managing biological hazards associated with teaching or research. Biosafety covers the proper use of biologically hazardous material.

Heightened Control Measures when handling human bodily fluids or tissues or other samples potentially containing the COVID-19 virus

With the advent of COVID, researchers working with human blood and other human tissues and fluids are at risk of occupational exposure to the COVID virus: SARS-CoV-2.  The COVID virus has been found in blood, sewage, sputum, urine and many tissues in the human body.  A number of UniSA researchers work with such samples.

The COVID virus is a Risk Group 3 microorganism which would traditionally be managed in a Physical Containment Level 3 facility. However, UniSA, like many other institutions, does not have a PC3 facility. The World Health Organisation recommends that if working with human blood and other tissues and fluids in PC2 facilities that Heightened Control Measures be enacted. 

We have already enacted these measures at UniSA. All the associated information and documents have now been added to the Biosafety webpage.

Risk management

Risk associated with biologically hazardous material is controlled at the University through applying the risk management approach. Potential hazards must be identified, assessed and control measures applied, considering legislative and regulatory requirements, prior to research project commencement. Details must be recorded in the local hazard register and regularly reviewed.

Use of certain pathogenic substances and Level 1 or Level 2 Infectious Agents requires approval from the Institutional Biosafety Committee prior to commencing use.

References and resources