Biological Incident Response

NIH and CDC requires and EHS strongly recommends the preparation of emergency plans for laboratories and facilities involved in biohazardous activities. It is the laboratory Principal Investigator or Supervisor's responsibility to:

  • Develop specific biological emergency plans and train lab personnel
  • Post and update emergency notification signage
  • Maintain a biosafety spill kit/station at a secure location near the main exit of the laboratory

The following basic principles are useful in dealing with accidental spills or releases of biohazardous material:

  • Render assistance to persons involved
  • Warn personnel of the potential hazards to their safety and evacuate the area if necessary
  • Control area to allow only authorized persons to enter. Do not allow re-entry to the area without proper controls/training or until hazards are eliminated. The Incident Commander, Principal Investigator, Biosafety Officer and other expert personnel will determine re-entry procedures

For any biohazardous material incident you must contact the Biosafety Professional at (573) 882-7018 for reporting purposes.


Biological Incident Planning

Advanced planning for biological emergency incident response will minimize the risk and potential hazards involved with biohazardous activities. The following planning tools will assist Principal Investigators or Supervisors to meet all the requirements for a successful incident response plan.


Biological Spill Response Kit

It is strongly encouraged that each biological laboratory on campus have a spill response kit readily available. The following things should be included in the kit:

Personal Protective Equipment:

  • Gloves (latex/nitrile/rubber gloves, extra large size or sized to each kit user)
  • Face shield
  • Safety goggles, or safety glasses with side shields
  • Disposable coveralls or a suit with hood
  • Hair covering
  • HEPA masks or respirator
  • Rubber boots
  • Shoe covers.

Cleanup supplies:

  • 2-red bags
  • 2- cloth rags
  • 2-clear bags
  • Brush
  • Roll of clear tape
  • Flashlight
  • Barricade warning tape
  • Anti-microbial wipes
  • Household bleach or spray disinfectant,
  • Paper towels
  • Absorbent-sock, decon pad
  • Vermiculite
  • Scoop
  • Floor drain cover.
  • Mechanical means for dealing with broken glass
  • Forceps
  • Small dustpan and broom (disposable recommended)
  • Sharps container or bucket labeled "Broken Glass" (Metal or thick plastic)
  • Specific directions and SDS for use of complicated equipment and disinfectants in the biosafety spill kit.

Note: Annually, check all supplies for deterioration and replace disinfectants or determine if they are still usable.

User Information :

Post on the outside of Biological Spill Kit container:

  • Inventory sheet of equipment and materials in the biosafety spill kit.
  • Phone contact number for responsible Principal Investigator/Supervisor.
  • EHS Phone # (882-7018) to report ALL releases & Blood Borne Pathogen exposures.

Available inside the Biological Spill Kit:

  • Copy of the “Emergency Notification Signage” for the laboratory.
  • Copy of the “Laboratory Specific Biological Emergency Plans” for the laboratory.
  • Copy of the “Immediate Biohazard Emergency Response” procedures.

Basic Biological Spill Kit for Individual Work Area:

  • Disinfectant (bleach 1:10 dilution, prepared fresh daily) or biohazard specific disinfectant
  • Absorbent pads, pillows & material (paper towels)
  • Waste Container (biohazard bags, sharps containers)
  • Personal Protective Equipment (lab coat, gloves, eye and face protection)
  • Mechanical Tools (forceps, small disposable dustpan and broom)

Biological Incident Response Procedures

The following procedures serve as a general outline for responding to the particular type of incident. More specific and detailed procedures may need to be developed by a Principal Investigator depending on the type of material being worked with.

A Simple Biological Spill is small, confined, and presents minimal hazards. It can normally be handled solely by laboratory personnel.

A Complicated Biological Spill normally involves a larger or public spatial area, multiple or unknown biohazards, etc. It requires specific expertise outside the knowledge of laboratory personnel to respond to the spill.


Post Incident

The lessons learned after an incident will improve planning/preparedness, response procedures, training, recovery and minimize the potential for future incidents. The following tools assist the Principal Investigator or Supervisor to complete post-incident activities.