CDC Panel Release Guidelines for Safe Diagnostic Laboratory Work Environment

A CDC-convened panel of experts has published guidelines for safe work practices in diagnostic laboratories.

The guidelines were designed to improve the safety of activities in clinical diagnostic laboratories, encourage laboratory workers to think about safety issues they might not previously have considered or addressed and push laboratorians to create and foster a culture of safety in their laboratories.


The guidelines include recommendations for a culture of safety, laboratory design and architectural planning, risk assessment and more. Here is a sampling of the guideline's recommendations:

•  Establish and enforce a policy for a culture of safety within the laboratory.
•  Identify as many hazards as possible and specify practices and procedures that will minimize or eliminate those hazards.
•  Design options for the microbiology laboratory should include an enclosed component of the overall laboratory, separated by closable doors from other laboratory sections.
•  Identify the hazards associated with an infectious agent or material.
•  Identify the activities that might cause exposure to the agent or material.
•  The laboratory director should create and enforce a laboratory-specific biosafety manual, which should include a range of topics including risk assessment, standard precautions for safe handling of infectious materials, engineering controls and more.

To read the guidelines in full, click here.

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