Biosafety Level 3 (BSL-3) Practices and Procedures

The synergistic relationship between best practices, regulations, and professional experience forms the foundation for working in a BSL-3 facility.

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About this Course

Biosafety level 3 (BSL-3) laboratories are designed to protect individuals and the public from highly infectious and pathogenic organisms by using enhanced engineering and administrative controls. The primary hazards to the individuals who work within the laboratory or provide support to its operations involve exposure to infectious materials. The organization’s comprehensive BSL-3 program plays a key role in identifying and controlling potential risks.

The learner will be provided with practical information on the types and operations of biosafety cabinets, how BSL-3 facility operations are maintained and validated, the type of personal protective equipment required, waste management and emergency management processes used to prevent the potential spread of contamination, and the occupational health program necessary to mitigate the risk to the individuals who work in the BSL-3.

Language Availability: English

Suggested Audiences: Biosafety/Biosecurity Professionals, Environmental Health and Safety Professionals, Faculty, Healthcare Providers, IT Professionals, Physical Plant Personnel, Public Safety Professionals, Research Administrators, Research Faculty and Team Members, Researchers, Students

Organizational Subscription Price: $675 per year/per site for government and non-profit organizations; $750 per year/per site for for-profit organizations
Independent Learner Price: $99 per person

Demo Instructions

Course Content


This module describes primary and secondary containment and the role they play in BSL-3 facilities, reviews the similarities and differences between risk assessments and biosafety levels, and discusses the risks presented in planned procedures and how to conduct effective risk assessments.

Recommended Use: Required
ID (Language): 21134 (English)
Author(s): Gabrielle Repik, MS, MHS, CBSP, CMAR, RLATG - Weill Cornell Medicine

Biological Safety Cabinet in BSL-3 Facilities

Learners explore the importance of biological safety cabinets (BSC) as critical safety equipment in biosafety level 3 (BSL-3) facilities. The nuances of working with the various types of BSCs and how BSC features can increase or decrease safety will be discussed. Considerations for choosing BSCs during facility development and common issues impacting the facility and staff will be addressed.

Recommended Use: Required
ID (Language): 21135 (English)
Author(s): Gabrielle Repik, MS, MHS, CBSP, CMAR, RLATG - Weill Cornell Medicine

The BSL-3 Laboratory

This module discusses the impact the Biosafety in Microbiological and Biomedical Laboratories (BMBL) has on the United States biosafety level 3 (BSL-3) laboratories' construction, and management. How and when the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Guidelines for Research Involving Recombinant or Synthetic Nucleic Acid Molecules (NIH Guidelines) become applicable will be reviewed.

Recommended Use: Required
ID (Language): 21136 (English)
Author(s): Gabrielle Repik, MS, MHS, CBSP, CMAR, RLATG - Weill Cornell Medicine

Personal Protective Equipment

The usefulness of personal protective equipment is discussed in relation to the hierarchy of controls. Personal protective equipment has often been seen as the last line of defense, but sometimes, it is the only barrier between the wearer and the hazard.

Recommended Use: Required
ID (Language): 21137 (English)
Author(s): Gabrielle Repik, MS, MHS, CBSP, CMAR, RLATG - Weill Cornell Medicine

BSL-3 Waste Management

Managing the waste generated within a BSL-3 facility is critical to protecting the population and environment both in and outside of laboratories. This module will discuss the various methods of waste decontamination available to federal, state, and local governmental requirements.

Recommended Use: Required
ID (Language): 21138 (English)
Author(s): Gabrielle Repik, MS, MHS, CBSP, CMAR, RLATG - Weill Cornell Medicine

Emergency Response Procedures

The module provides the groundwork for the planning process needed to develop a comprehensive emergency response plan for a BSL-3 facility. Although the general steps associated with an emergency response plan are usually the same, the learner will see why it is essential to include the specifics of the facility, equipment, and procedures in place.

Recommended Use: Required
ID (Language): 21139 (English)
Author(s): Gabrielle Repik, MS, MHS, CBSP, CMAR, RLATG - Weill Cornell Medicine


Communicating the unique operations of a BSL-3 laboratory/facility occurs through training. Building and executing a comprehensive training program shall not be taken for granted. This module provides an organized approach, starting with identifying all the requirements necessary to work in a general laboratory within the facility and ending with the impact complacency and over-confidence may have on performance.

Recommended Use: Required
ID (Language): 21140 (English)
Author(s): Gabrielle Repik, MS, MHS, CBSP, CMAR, RLATG - Weill Cornell Medicine

Maintenance and Annual Validation/Verification

Biosafety level 3 (BSL-3) facilities require constant upkeep and maintenance. However, this can be extremely difficult to accomplish, given the number of hazards in such facilities. Many facilities undergo a once-a-year facility shutdown where, during that time, all equipment and facility operations are tested and recalibrated. The type of maintenance, regulatory requirements, and best practices are discussed.

Recommended Use: Required
ID (Language): 21141 (English)
Author(s): Gabrielle Repik, MS, MHS, CBSP, CMAR, RLATG - Weill Cornell Medicine

Occupational Health

Mitigating the risk to the individuals who work in the BSL-3 or support the BSL-3 is done through an occupational health program. This module discusses the team approach for creating and managing the program.

Recommended Use: Required
ID (Language): 21142 (English)
Author(s): Michelle Eckstein, BS, LVT, LATg, CMAR, CPIA - Weill Cornell Medicine


Who should take the BSL-3 Practices and Procedures?

The suggested audience for this course includes individuals who directly work in a BSL-3 facility or laboratory, as well as support staff. This includes individuals at academic and non-academic institutions, such as research faculty/staff/students who work in a BSL-3 laboratory/facility. Biosafety/EHS Professionals, IT, Public Safety/Security/University Police, Physical Plant/Facilities, and healthcare providers who support the BSL-3 occupational health program.

How long does it take to complete BSL-3 Practices and Procedures?

Each module takes approximately 20 minutes to complete.

Why should an organization subscribe to this course?

Organizational subscriptions provide access to the organization's affiliated members. This allows organizations to train individuals across the organization on conflicts of interest in healthcare.

What are the standard recommendations for learner groups?

This course is designed such that learners should complete all the modules in sequence.

Is this course eligible for continuing medical education credits?

This course does not currently have CE/CME credits available.

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