Control of Substances Hazardous to Health - COSHH Level 2 (VTQ)

49 videos, 2 hours and 3 minutes

Course Content

Biological agents

Video 22 of 49
2 min 5 sec
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Special Regulations for Handling Biological Agents

Understanding Biological Agent Regulations

Special regulations govern the handling of biological agents due to their significant risks to workers and the environment. These regulations fall under COSHH, which requires meticulous handling and special risk assessment planning.

Approved List of Biological Agents

Biological agents listed in the Health and Safety Commission's Approved List are categorised based on their hazard group, as specified in the agency-approved Code of Practice. These agents include:

  • Microorganisms: Such as bacteria, viruses, and fungi.
  • Parasites: Microscopic infections and larger parasites.
  • Cell Cultures: Containing harmful properties that could cause infection, allergy, toxicity, or other health hazards.

Nucleic Acid and Health Hazards

Although nucleic acid is not classified as a biological agent, it can still pose health hazards. In such cases, COSHH provisions apply to ensure safety.

Classification of Biological Agents

Biological agents are classified into different hazard groups based on several factors:

  • Ability to cause infection.
  • Severity of resulting diseases.
  • Risk of community spread.
  • Availability of vaccines and treatment.

Control Measures and Risk Assessment

Even non-infectious biological agents may require substantial control measures depending on their other harmful properties. Risk assessments are crucial to determine appropriate handling procedures.