WHO Laboratory Biosafety Manual 4th Edition 2020 - Legionella

WHO Laboratory Biosafety Manual 4th Edition 2020

Manual available HERE:

WHO – Safeguarding biosafety and biosecurity in laboratories publication links – HERE

An example of a significant change in biosafety practice is removal of Biosafety Level Terminology from the World Health Organization’s Laboratory Biosafety Manual 4th Edition.
The Forward to the LBM4 states: “Previous versions of the manual described the classification of biological agents and laboratories in terms of risk/hazard groups and biosafety/containment levels.
While this may be a logical starting point for the handling and containment of biological agents, it has led to the misconception that the risk group of a biological agent directly corresponds to the biosafety level of a laboratory.
In fact, the actual risk of a given scenario is influenced not only by the agent being handled, but also by the procedure being performed and the competency of the laboratory personnel engaging in the activity.”

In my opinion, this is a positive, significant change that will restore the scientific method to risk analysis.
Biosafety Level terminology began in 1984 with the BMBL 1st Edition.
Health Canada removed biosafety level terminology a few years ago.



Glossary of terms.


SECTION 1 Introduction.

1.1 Intended scope.

1.2 How to use the Laboratory biosafety manual.

SECTION 2 Risk assessment.

2.1 Gather information.

2.2 Evaluate the risks.

2.3 Develop a risk control strategy.

2.4 Select and implement risk control measures.

2.5 Review risks and risk control measures.

SECTION 3 Core requirements.

3.1 Good microbiological practice and procedure.

3.2 Personnel competence and training.

3.3 Facility design.

3.4 Specimen receipt and storage.

3.5 Decontamination and waste management.

3.6 Personal protective equipment.

3.7 Laboratory equipment.

3.8 Emergency/incident response.

3.9 Occupational health.

SECTION 4 Heightened control measures.

4.1 Operational working practices and procedures.

4.2 Personnel competence and training.

4.3 Facility design.

4.4 Specimen receipt and storage.

4.5 Decontamination and waste management.

4.6 Personal protective equipment.

4.7 Laboratory equipment.

4.8 Emergency/incident response.

4.9 Occupational health.

SECTION 5 Maximum containment measures.

5.1 Operational working practices and procedures.

5.2 Personnel competence and training.

5.3 Facility design.

5.4 Specimen receipt and storage.

5.5 Decontamination and waste management.

5.6 Personal protective equipment.

5.7 Laboratory equipment.

5.8 Emergency/incident response.

5.9 Occupational health.

SECTION 6 Transfer and transportation.

6.1 Transfer within the laboratory.

6.2 Transfer within a building.

6.3 Transfer between buildings on the same site.

6.4 Off-site transport of infectious substances.

SECTION 7 Biosafety programme management.

7.1 Biosafety culture.

7.2 Biosafety policy.

7.3 Assigned roles and responsibilities.

7.4 Biosafety manual.

7.5 Biosafety and biosecurity risk assessment.

7.6 Supporting programmes and plans.

7.7 Reports and reviews.

SECTION 8 Laboratory biosecurity.

8.1 Biosecurity risk assessment.

8.2 Inventory control.

8.3 Information control.

8.4 Personnel control.

8.5 Physical security control.

8.6 Transport control.

8.7 Emergency/incident response.

8.8 Emerging biological risks.

8.9 Dual use research of concern.

SECTION 9 National/international biosafety oversight.


Further information.