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These web pages outline the precautions to be taken when working with biological agents (BA), when carrying out genetic modification (GM), and tissue culture work. They also deal with University and national regulatory and enforcement matters. These pages are designed to assist you in both identifying BAs in the workplace and managing the risks they pose.
Definition Of Biological Agent And Why They Are Important
BAs are defined in legislation as ‘a micro-organism, including those which have been genetically modified, a cell culture, and a human endoparasite, which may be able to provoke any infection, allergy or toxicity classified according to their risk of infection.’
BAs are described according to whether they are bacteria (and similar organisms), viruses, parasites, or fungi. Based on their potential for infectivity and appropriate treatment BAs are classified into 4 categories. If you use or are exposed to a BA during the course of your work in NUI Galway then according to the university’s practices and procedures you must conduct a risk assessment or be made aware of its existence by your manager.
Occurrence Of BAs In The Workplace
BAs are found in two principal areas University activities:
Main Requirements For Managing BAs
Each person responsible for work with or exposure to BAs must make appropriate arrangements to ensure that University policy and guidance is implemented. This responsibility extends to principal investigators (PI) and others who are accountable for the safety of persons at risk from exposure to BAs. Individuals responsible for the working with BAs are required to:
Biological Safety Legislation
Safety Health & Welfare at Work (Biological Agents) Regulations 1994
Safety Health & Welfare at Work (Biological Agents) Regulations 1998
Genetically Modified Organisms (Contained Use) Regulations 2001