Incident & Exposure Response

Incident & Exposure Response

May 17, 2014

All biosafety incidents MUST BE REPORTED TO BIOSAFETY WITHIN 8 HOURS at x59797 (310-825-9797).

Please do not hesitate to leave us a message or follow up with an email.

On this page:

Exposures

Serious Injuries
Biological and rDNA exposure incidents
Types of Exposures

Spills

Composition of a Basic Biohazard Spill Kit
Spills outside the Laboratory Area
Biosafety Level 1 (BSL1) Spills
Biosafety Level 2 (BSL2) and BBP Spills
Biosafety Level 3 (BSL3) Spills
Blood Spills
Spill in a Biological Safety Cabinet (BSC) 
Spills in a Centrifuge
Spill of a Biohazardous, Radioactive Material
Reporting and Investigation Requirements

Exposures

Serious Injuries

In the event that an incident involves a serious or life-threatening injury (as defined by OSHA)
  1. Call 911 immediatelyfrom a campus phone or 310-825-1491 from a cell phone

  2. Administer first aid as necessary; medical care should always be the first priority.

  3. If there is potential risk of exposure to infectious agents, advise healthcare provider to minimize potential exposure.  Caregivers should wear appropriate personal protective equipment.

  4. All medical emergencies must be reported to EH&S immediatelyCall the EH&S Hotline at x59797. 

Biological and rDNA exposure incidents

  • ALL exposures or potential exposures should be reported to Biosafety within 8 hours of the incident (x59797).

  • Immediately begin to treat the area of exposure!

  • For lacerations or breaks in the skin, wash the affected area with antiseptic soap and warm water for 15 minutes.

  • For exposure to the face, eyes, nose or mouth, flush affected area in eyewash continuously for 15 minutes.

  • IMMEDIATE WASHING OF THE AREA IS ONE OF THE MOST IMPORTANT STEPS IN REDUCING YOUR RISK OF INFECTION!

  • After any exposure or potential exposure, employees need to be evaluated by a healthcare professional.

  • Monday-Friday, 7am-4pm : OHF at 67-120 CHS (Center for Health Sciences), 6th floor, 7th corridor, room 120

  • All other hours : Employees must go to Ronald Reagan Emergency Room to be evaluated.  Please explain that you are there for a potential workplace exposure and need immediate attention

  • Personnel who have been potentially exposed on the job will be provided with post-exposure evaluation and follow-up at no cost to employees who experience "exposure incidents". The post-exposure monitoring periods are dependent on the type of exposure. This time period is related to the various incubation periods of the infectious agents.

  • Non-Employed students must clarify to OHF that there has been a potential lab exposrue to recieve care at OHF

  • Employees must ensure all worker's compensation paperwork is completed with your department administrator.

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Types of Exposure Incidents

An "exposure incident" is specific contact (eye, mouth, other mucous membrane, respiratory tract via inhalation, non-intact skin, or parenteral) with potentially infectious materials.  A person who sustains a known or potential exposure incident must remove their gloves and treat the affected area immediately by following the appropriate exposure incident response below. 

Percutaneous Injury

Wash the affected area with soap and water for 15 minutes.  Seek professional medical consultation.

Splash to the eyes, nose or mouth

Flush affected area in the eyewash, continuously for 15 minutes.  Seek professional medical consultation.

Aerosol Exposure

Leave the room immediately.  Post signage to warn others of potential exposure.  Seek professional medical consultation.

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Spills

This section is intended to outline the basic procedures for dealing with some of the biological spills that may be encountered in a research laboratory. All lab personnel should refer to the emergency response procedures found in their laboratory-specific biosafety manual before initiating their experiments.  For any spill, the PI must clear the laboratory before re-entry and spill clean-up to commences.   For extensive BSL2 contamination (e.g., an incident involving a centrifuge) or incidents involving BSL2+ or BSL3 agents, the EH&S Biosafety Program must be notified immediately (x59797) and will assume responsibility, in conjunction with the PI, to clear the laboratory for re-entry.

Composition of a Basic Biohazard Spill Kit

 Here is a description of what you need in your biohazard spill kit

Spills Outside of Laboratory Areas

  1. Any spill outside of the laboratory area poses a particular risk for exposure of the general public or environmental contamination.  Therefore,  do not try and clean this up on your own.

  2. Attend to any injuries or exposures

  3. Alert others to avoid the area to prevent the spread of contamination

  4. Contact the EH&S Biosafety Office (x59797) immediately to assist in spill clean-up.  If after hours, contact UCPD (911 from a campus phone), who has the 24/7 on-call numbers for EH&S staff members.

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Spills within Laboratory Areas

The overall risk will depend on the agents, operations and personnel involved in the spill and clean-up measures.  If in doubt, contact the EH&S Biosafety Office (x63929).

Biosafety Level 1 (BSL1) Spills

  1. Notify others in the area, to prevent spread of contamination

  2. Remove any contaminated clothing and wash exposed skin with soap and water for 15 minutes.

  3. Post signage to inform others of a spill

  4. Put on appropriate PPE including, gloves, lab coat, and eye/face protection

  5. Cover entire spill zone with paper towels.  This should extend past any visible droplets

  6. Pour copious amounts of an appropriate disinfectant on the paper towels covering the spill.

  7. Allow at least 15 minutes of contact time, possibly more. (This is a great time to notify your PI of the spill)

  8. Pick up any pieces of broken glass with forceps or other mechanical device(s) (NOT YOUR HANDS) and place in a sharps container.

  9. Pick up all paper towels and disposable materials and place into a biohazard bag.

  10. Wash hands with soap and water

  11. Notify your PI or supervisor.  If this involved recombinant material, notify biosafety within 24 hours at x63929

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Biosafety Level 2 (BSL2) and BBP Spills

  1. Quickly evacuate everyone from the room, avoiding inhaling aerosols as much as possible

  2. Close door, and post with a warning sign.

  3. Remove contaminated clothing, turning exposed areas inward, and place in a biohazard bag.

  4. Wash all exposed skin with soap and water.

  5. Inform PI and/or supervisor, and notify the EH&S Biosafety Program at x59797.

  6. Wait at least 30 minutes to reenter the room to allow aerosols to disperse.

  7. Assemble clean-up materials (disinfectant, paper towels, biohazard bags, and forceps)

  8. Put on protective clothing (lab coat, eye/face protection, utility gloves, and booties if necessary).  Depending on the nature of the spill, it may be advisable to wear a HEPA filtered respirator instead of a surgical mask.

  9. Once you re-enter the room take a minute to assess all areas that may have been contaminated with the spill, including furniture, walls, cabinets, etc.  Take care to avoid stepping in any contaminated areas.

  10. Cover the area with paper towels making sure to cover all contaminated surfaces.

  11. Carefully pour disinfectant on the paper towels working from the outside of the spill inwards.  Use more concentrated disinfectant as it is diluted by the spill.

  12. Leave the room and allow at least a 30 minute contact time.

  13. Clean up the spill area.  Pick up any sharp objects with forceps or other mechanical devices (not your hands!) and discard in a sharps container.   Place all wet paper towels in a biohazard bag.

  14. If broken glass or sharps are involved only use a mechanical means, such as an autoclavable broom and dustpan to pick up any paper towels, since there may be sharps under the paper towels, and place all materials into a sharps container. Smaller pieces of glass may be collected with cotton or paper towels held with forceps. If no sharps were involved in the spill discard the materials into an autoclave bag.

  15. Once you have cleaned up all items and paper towels, you must disinfectant the area again.

  16. Spray the area with freshly prepared 10% household bleach solution.

  17. Allow a 30 minute contact time before wiping up. Make sure to wipe surrounding areas, where the spill may have splashed.

  18. Place all contaminated paper towels and any contaminated protective clothing into a biohazard bag and autoclave or dispose in the appropriate container.

  19. Wash hands and exposed skin areas with soap and water.

  20. Your PI must clear the laboratory to allow people to begin their normal work once the spill has been cleaned up

Biosafety Level 3 (BSL3) Spills

  1. For spills within the BSL3 please contact the Director of High Containment

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Blood Spills

For blood or other material with a high organic content and low amounts of infectious organisms:

  1. Wear PPE that includes gloves, eye protection and a lab coat.

  2. Absorb blood with paper towels and place in a biohazard bag. Collect any sharp objects with forceps or other mechanical device and place in a sharps container.

  3. Using an approved detergent solution and paper towels, clean the spill site of all visible blood.

  4. Spray the spill site with 10% household bleach and allow air-drying for 30 minutes

  5. After the 30 minute contact time, wipe the area down with disinfectant-soaked paper towels

  6. Discard all disposable materials used to decontaminate the spill and any contaminated PPE into a biohazard bag.

  7. Wash your hands with soap and water.

  8. Notify your PI or supervisor

Spill in a Biological Safety Cabinet (BSC)

  1. Leave the BSC on and begin cleanup immediately.

  2. While wearing PPE (gloves, gown or lab coat, and eye protection) cover the spill area with paper towels or disinfectant soaked paper towels.

  3. Do not place your head in the cabinet!  Keep your face behind the view screen.

  4. Pour disinfectant on the paper towels to cover the spill and if necessary, flood the work surface as well as the drain pans and catch basins below the work surface. Be sure the drain valve is closed before flooding the area under the work surface.

  5. Allow for an appropriate contact time for the disinfectant to work

  6. Wipe cabinet walls, work surfaces, and inside the view screen with disinfectant.

  7. Lift the front exhaust grill and work surface; wipe all surfaces with disinfectant. Be sure no paper towels or soiled debris are blown into the area under the spill tray.

  8. Soak up the disinfectant in the work surface, if the work surface was flooded with disinfectant. Place a container under the drain valve and drain the disinfectant under the work surface into the container.

  9. Wipe the areas under the work surface to remove residual disinfectant.

  10. Wash hands with soap and water.

  11. Place all contaminated paper towels and any contaminated protective clothing into a biohazard bag and autoclave or dispose in the appropriate container.

  12. Notify your PI or supervisor.

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Spill in a Centrifuge

Always use safety caps or sealed rotors with O-rings. Examine O-ring and replace if worn, cracking or missing. Check tubes and bottles for cracks and deformities before each use.  Always wait five minutes before opening the centrifuge following the end of a run with potentially hazardous biological material, if using safety caps or sealed rotors. 

  1. If a spill is identified after the centrifuge lid is opened, carefully close the lid, evacuate the laboratory, and close the laboratory door.

  2. Remain out of the lab for at least 30 minutes

  3. Post a sign on the lab door indicating there is a biohazard spill and do not enter

  4. Remove any contaminated protective clothing and place into a biohazard bag. Wash hands and any exposed skin surfaces with soap and water.

  5. Notify your PI, supervisor, and/or the EH&S Biosafety Program at x63929

  6. After 30 minutes..Enter the lab with appropriate PPE which may include full-face protection, lab coat and utility gloves.

  7. Bring in spill clean-up supplies including paper towels, fresh 10% bleach, waste containers and tongs to pick up broken sharps.

  8. Unplug the centrifuge if at all possible

  9. Transfer rotors and buckets to a biological safety cabinet. Immerse rotor/buckets in 10% bleach for at least 30 minutes. Intact tubes may be wiped down and placed into a new container. Handle any broken glass with forceps and discard into a sharps container

  10. Carefully retrieve any broken glass from inside the centrifuge using forceps and discard into a sharps container. Smaller pieces of glass may be collected with cotton or paper towels held with forceps.

  11. Soak paper towels in 10% bleach and cover all interior surfaces of the centrifuge making sure that all areas are in contact with the bleach soaked paper towels.

  12. Leave the paper towels for 30 minutes to allow for adequate contact time

  13. After 30 minutes, remove the paper towels and sop up in liquid bleach with more paper towels.  All paper towels will need to be disposed of as biohazard waste

  14. Rinse interior surfaces of the centrifuge with 70% ethanol and wipe with paper towels

  15. Place all contaminated paper towels and any contaminated protective clothing into a biohazard bag and autoclave or dispose in the appropriate container.

  16. Wash hands with soap and water.

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Spill of a Biohazardous Radioactive Material

A biohazardous spill involving radioactive material requires emergency procedures that are different from the procedures used for either material alone. Use procedures that protect you from the radioisotope while you disinfect the biological material.

 Before any clean up, consider the type of radionuclide, characteristics of the microorganism, and the volume of the spill. Notify the EH&S Radiation Safety Program (x59797) of the spill for advisement.

  1. Quickly leave the room. Notify others to leave, but to stay in the area for contamination monitoring.

  2. Close door, and post a warning sign.

  3. Remove contaminated clothing, turning exposed areas inward, and place in a biohazard bag labeled with a radioactive materials label or a radioactive waste container labeled with a biohazard label.

  4. Wash all exposed skin with soap and water; follow with a three-minute water rinse.

  5. Inform supervisor and EH&S of spill, and monitor all potentially exposed personnel for radioactive contamination. The EH&S Biosafety and Radiation Safety Programs will be able to offer guidance and assist with the spill clean-up, if required.

  6. Do not attempt to clean the spill unless advised to do so by EH&S.

  7. If spill clean-up is permitted, allow aerosols to disperse for at least 30 minutes before reentering the laboratory. Assemble clean-up materials (disinfectant, autoclavable containers, forceps, towel, and sponges).  Do not use bleach if the spill involves radioiodine.  The Biosafety Program will advise on the appropriate disinfectant in these cases.

  8. Put on protective clothing (gown, surgical mask, gloves, and shoe covers). Depending on the nature of the spill, it may be advisable to wear a HEPA-filtered respirator instead of a surgical mask.

  9. Cover the area with disinfectant-soaked towels, and carefully pour disinfectant around the spill. Avoid enlarging the contaminated area. Use more concentrated disinfectant as it is diluted by the spill. Allow at least 30 minutes contact time.

  10. Handle any sharp objects with forceps. Wipe surrounding areas, where the spill may have splashed, with disinfectant.

  11. Soak up the disinfectant and spill, and place the biologically decontaminated waste, along with all protective clothing contaminated with radioactive materials, into an approved radioactive waste container and label it according to EH&S Radiation Safety Program procedures.

  12. Contaminated protective clothing must also be biologically decontaminated prior to disposal as radioactive waste.

  13. Do not autoclave the waste unless this action is approved by a Radiation Safety Program representative. If waste cannot be autoclaved, add additional disinfectant to ensure biological decontamination of all the materials.

  14. Wash hands and exposed skin areas with soap and water; monitor personnel and spill area for residual radioactive contamination using radiation detection instruments and swipe tests.

  15. If skin contamination is found, repeat decontamination procedures under the direction of the Radiation Safety Program representative(s).

  16. If the spill area has residual activity that is no longer removable, contact the Radiation Safety Program at x59797.

  17. Discarding items contaminated with radioactive materials: Place the contaminated item(s) on absorbent paper.

  18. Spray disinfectant (freshly prepared 10% household bleach for non-radioiodine materials) on the contaminated areas and allow 20 minute contact time.

  19. Wrap the item(s) inside the paper and dispose of as radioactive waste.

  20. Wash hands with soap and water.

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Reporting and Investigation Requirements

It is the responsibility of the Principal investigator of the laboratory to ensure that all incidents, exposures (needlesticks, splashes), accidents, loss of containment or near-misses are reported to the EH&S Biosafety Program at 310-825-9797 within 8 hours.  The UCLA IBC has established a policy for reporting requirements for accidents involving biohazardous materials, which is unique from the "Serious injury" reporting requirements for Cal-OSHA. 

Laboratory staff should be familiar with this policy and it should be readily accessible in the laboratory.

EH&S, in cooperation with the PI and their staff, will conduct the necessary investigation of a laboratory accident.  The goal of the investigation is the prevention of similar accidents as well as obtaining information concerning the circumstances and number of employees who have been exposed to the agent in question.  In addition, EH&S, in consultation with the UCLA Occupational Health Facility, might institute further steps to monitor the health of those who may have been exposed to the agent in question.

We encourage PIs and employees to also report incidents that did not result in an exposure ("near misses") to the EH&S Biosafety Program.  Evaluation of near misses can lead to alternative work practices and implementation of engineering controls to minimize future incidents.