Posting Biohazard Warning Signs and Labels

Biohazard Warning Labels Use

Any storage, or transportation container as well as any waste container that contains untreated biohazardous waste must be identified with a biohazard warning label.


Biohazard Warning Sign Use

The Biohazard Warning Sign is used to restrict laboratory access when work with biohazardous materials is taking place, to communicate agents in use, and to specify entry and exit requirements. The following summarizes the Biohazard Warning Sign usage and posting requirements:

  1. The Biohazard Warning Sign shall be permanently affixed to all entry doors of biosafety level (BSL)-3 laboratories and all animal biosafety level (ABSL)-2 and higher animal rooms when biohazardous materials are in use or when animals exposed to biohazardous materials are housed or manipulated. The Biohazard Warning sign is in addition to the biohazard symbol on the permanently affixed UW Laboratory Entry Caution Sign next to laboratory entry doors. In summary, the Biohazard Warning Sign shall be permanently affixed to all entry doors of the following laboratories/rooms:
    • BSL-2 with BSL-3 practices
    • BSL-3
    • ABSL-2
    • ABSL-2 with ABSL-3 practices
    • ABSL-3
    BSL-2 with BSL-3 practices laboratories with approved decontamination procedures to lower containment to BSL-2 must follow the posting requirements in their laboratory-specific standard operating procedures (SOPs).
  2. For BSL-2 laboratories, the Biohazard Warning Sign shall be affixed to entry doors in a way such that it can be easily removed (e.g., place sign in plastic cover). After work is complete, agents are secured, and surfaces are decontaminated, the Biohazard Warning Sign may be removed or turned over. If the Biohazard Warning Sign is affixed to a BSL-2 laboratory door, support staff, such as Facilities Services or Custodial Services, will not enter.
  3. For BSL-1, the biohazard symbol on the permanently affixed UW Laboratory Entry Caution Sign next to laboratory entry doors is sufficient.

Instructions for Completing the Biohazard Warning Sign

  1. Download the Biohazard Warning Sign.
  2. Enter the room number and date on which the sign will be posted.
  3. BSL-2 is the default biosafety level. Replace "BSL-2" as appropriate with BSL-2 with BSL-3 practices, ABSL-2, ABSL-2 with ABSL-3 practices, or ABSL-3. For BSL-1, a Biohazard Warning Sign is not required unless specified by EH&S/IBC; the biohazard symbol on the permanently affixed UW Laboratory Entry Caution Sign next to laboratory entry doors is sufficient.
  4. Enter biological agent(s).
  5. Enter special procedures, PPE and precautions for entry/exit. Include information on immunizations and respirator protection, if applicable.
  6. Enter contact information for all Principal Investigators (PI) using the laboratory and/or other responsible personnel. Enter emergency contact information, including an after-hours phone number. The emergency contact may or may not be the PI directly.
  7. When finished, print in color on 8 1/2" x 11" white paper. This biohazard symbol on the sign is required to have the fluorescent orange background with the symbol and lettering in a contrasting color.
  8. Post Biohazard Warning Sign as described above.

Responsibility

It is the responsibility of the principal investigator/other responsible personnel to properly identify and restrict access to the laboratory and to notify emergency and support personnel of any hazards in the laboratory.