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Biological agents include bacteria (and similar organisms), viruses, parasites and fungi.
Biological agents are widespread in the community, and many colonise humans. Most are harmless but some are infectious and pathogenic. Harmful biological agents are living things which can multiply and change rapidly causing disease/damage; they can be transmitted from person to person and are not always easily detectable. Infection with pathogenic biological agents can provoke either a rapid (acute) onset of symptoms, or a slower (chronic) and more long-term response where the symptoms (if they are present) may last for years.
The University is required by law to assess the risks of biological agents to employees and to ensure that controls are in place to reduce these risks. These pages are designed to assist you in both identifying biological agents in the workplace and managing any risks that they pose.
Definition and Classification of Biological Agents (See Links & Downloads)
Biological Safety Legislation
Information and Resources
Audit Checklist for Laboratories
HSA Biological Agents Notification
Consent for First Time Use - EPA
Department Safety Checklist
General Principles of Prevention
Information on Biological Agents (HSA)
Licensing Process - EPA
Notification of HSA and EPA
Risk Assessment of Biological Agents - EPA
Biological Waste Collection Procedures
Approved Handling Procedure - Biohazardous Material
Approved Handling Procedure - Sharps
Ecosafe Bin Types
Ecosafe GMO Risk Assessment
Ecosafe GMO Questionnaire
Ecosafe Tracking Specimen
Ecosafe Tracking Template
Human Derived Material
Specialist Waste Labels
Relevant Extracts from NUI Galway Safety Statement;
Biological Agents - Part 5.12c
BioSafety Committee - Section 126.96.36.199.1
Laboratory and Workshop Rules
Latex Gloves - Part 5.12d
NUI, Galway Safety Statement - Part 3