BSL3 Laboratory
(510) 643-5292

Biosafety in the UCB BSL3 Facility

The primary mission of the UC Berkeley BSL3 facility is to provide a safe laboratory environment for the culture and manipulation of biohazardous organsims, including M. tuberculosis.

Following approved biosafety techniques is essential for maintaining the stringent level of safety required for BSL3 facilities.

UCB BSL3 Biosafety Manual (pdf)

This manual provides the essential information required to work in the BSL3 facility, including:

  • Training
  • Entry and Exit of the BSL3 Facility
  • Autoclave Function
  • Working in a BSC
  • General Biosafety Techniques
  • Equipment Function
  • Emergency Response

Working with BSL3 pathogens requires diligence from the laboratory worker to maintain safe laboratory conditions. This includes extensive knowledge of both the pathogen and the procedures, proper training and certification, and rigorous adherence to safety practices. Failure to meet any of these expectations will result in removal of BSL3 access privileges.

Mycobacterium tuberculosis is the major pathogen used in the Hildebrand BSL3 Facility and every user must be knowledgeable of the specific risks and precautions associated with M. tuberculosis work. Any pathogen other than M. tuberculosis used in the Facility must first be approved by the UC Berkeley Committee on Laboratory and Environmental Biosafety (CLEB), the EH&S Biosafety Officer (BSO), and the internal Biosafety Committee (iBSC). Additional training will be involved for BSL3 pathogens other than M. tuberculosis.

The user is responsible for being well versed in the experimental design and execution of each protocol to be done in the BSL3. Also, all procedures must be approved and added to the Approved Protocols manual prior to being used in the BSL3 facility.

Training of users will take place prior to any work in the BSL3. Each user is required to take biosafety training through EH&S as well as BSL3-specific training. After the user has displayed adequate competency in safely handling BSL3 pathogens, the user will be tested under mock BSL3 conditions and evaluated for knowledge of procedures and technique. A short evaluation period is also required before the user can work in the BSL3 unsupervised.

Finally, adherence to safety practices is paramount to all BSL3 work. An unsafe worker jeopardizes the health and safety of all workers in the BSL3. Any reports of unsafe working conditions will be critically evaluated and appropriate measures will be taken, including retraining/certification, reduced privileges, or banning from the facility.