Clinical and Diagnostic Laboratory Safety

Lab technician at a centrifuge

Clinical and diagnostic laboratories must follow the general provisions of the bloodborne pathogens standard, including but not limited to, needlestick and sharps safety, engineering controls, work practice controls, universal precautions, and the use of personal protective equipment.

Additional laboratory safe practices include:

  • careful monitoring of work behaviors and habits to prevent exposures
  • no mouth pipetting or suctioning of blood or other potentially infectious materials
  • no eating, drinking, smoking, applying cosmetics or lip balm, or handling of contact lenses in work areas where there is a reasonable likelihood of exposure to bloodborne pathogens
  • no storage of food or drink in refrigerators, freezers, shelves, cabinets or on countertops or bench tops where bloodborne pathogens or other potentially infectious materials are present
  • use splatter guards to prevent exposure
  • use sensor or foot/knee/elbow-controlled sinks to operate hand-washing facilities without using hands
  • use biological safety cabinets when required
  • centrifuge tubes with caps