Biological Materials Shipping
The online CITI module "Shipping and Transport of Regulated Biological Materials" is designed as initial training and periodic retraining for employees who package or ship diagnostic and clinical human or animal specimens, human or animal pathogens, and other regulated biohazards. The course is designed to meet requirements of the International Air Transport Association (IATA) and the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT).
This training module covers topics relating to shipping and transport of regulated biological materials such as: classifications, packaging requirements, shipping papers, permits for restricted shipments and transfers, security awareness, emergency response information, and refrigerants. An average score of 80% is needed to pass the training.
The IATA Dangerous Goods Regulations (DGR) classifies Class 6.2 infectious substances into two categories, Category A and Category B biological Substances.
Category A infectious substances:
- An infectious substance which is transported in a form that, when exposure to the material occurs, is capable of causing permanent disability, life-threatening or fatal disease in otherwise healthy humans or animals.
- A diagnostic specimen that is suspected of containing a Category A Infectious Substance.
- A patient specimen that is suspected of containing a Category A Infectious Substance.
Category B infectious substances:
- Category B infectious substances are those infectious substances which do not meet the criteria for inclusion in Category A
- Patient specimens suspected of containing a Category B Infectious Substance.
In an effort to ensure proper handling and labeling for biohazards being shipped both USA and other government agencies requires shipping training for those individuals who are likely to ship such materials.
Institutions must provide training on safety and security for individuals working with select agents and toxins. Training must be provided to each individual approved for access and to each visitor working in or visiting areas where select agents and toxins are handled or stored. At a minimum, training includes:
- Initial training at the time of assignment to a work area where select agents or toxins are present and prior to assignments involving agents. Refresher training must be provided at least annually. The investigator is responsible for ensuring that personnel are trained appropriately.
- Training in safety , containment, security and emergency response must be provided to all individuals working with select agents and toxins.
- Training defined by the Institutional Biosafety Committee.
The OSHA Standard has mandated that each work site develop an independent Exposure Control Plan (ECP) and implement the plan to ensure the safety and health of all personnel determined to have occupational exposure to human blood, body fluids, tissues and other potentially infectious materials in their job assignments.
All USA research laboratories registered with the IBC for use and approval of biological hazards are required to maintain a laboratory specific Exposure Control Plan (ECP) along with an exposure control plan training record. By signing the training record, laboratory personnel acknowledge that they have reviewed the Lab-Specific Exposure Control Plan with their PI/Supervisor and understand potential biological hazards associated with working in the laboratory.
An ECP template is provided to aid PI's in creating an ECP for their laboratory.
USA requires that approved respiratory protection be worn at all times (when infectious agents are in use) while in research facilities operating at BSL-3. Approved respiratory protection includes respirators rated at N-95 or greater (half life piece), or powered air purifying respirators (PAPR). All individuals wearing respiratory protection must be enrolled in the USA Respiratory Protection Program administered by the USA Department of Safety and Environmental Compliance. This program requires an annual fit testing for respiratory protection, initial health screening questionnaire for respirator users, and ongoing (annual) training regarding the use and limitations of the respiratory protection provided.
Contact Safety and Environmental Compliance to arrange for respirator fit testing:
Phone: (251) 460-6677