Division Title

Biological Safety


The Office of Research Services (ORS), Division of Occupational Health and Safety (DOHS) facilitates the implementation of biosafety practices for researchers in the laboratory. The information presented on this webpage is intended to aid the researcher in practicing safe science when working with biological agents.  


Select one of the links below for more information:


Biological and Pathogen Registrations

Biological Materials Shipping (Import/Export)

Biological Safety Cabinets

Decontamination and Sterilization

Guidance for the Selection of Laboratory Coats

Safety Data Sheets

Safety By Design: Biosafety Monograph

Select Agent Program

Spill in Laboratory


DOHS is responsible for managing biological safety at the NIH and provides a broad range of support services, consultation and assistance. DOHS provides training support to help supervisors fulfill the necessary training requirements. Training classes which address the recognition and control of common biological, chemical and physical hazards found in NIH laboratories, as well as safe work practices with human and nonhuman primate retroviruses and other bloodbome pathogens, are routinely presented.


All work with hazardous biological materials is to be conducted in compliance with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention / National Institutes of Health publication, Biosafety in Microbiological and Biomedical Laboratories, 5th EditionExit arrow.  Laboratories where work at BSL-1 and higher is conducted, shall be posted with signage indicating the assigned biosafety level, biological material(s) in use, special procedures or precautions for entry, name of the Principal Investigator and contact numbers in case of an emergency. These laboratories will be inspected by DOHS Safety and Health Specialists to ensure that the facility is operating properly for the assigned biosafety level and that appropriate practices and procedures are observed. Follow-up inspections may be conducted.