Physical Security

The physical security elements of a laboratory biosecurity program are intended to prevent the removal of assets for non-official purposes. An evaluation of the physical security measures should include a thorough review of the building and premises, the laboratories, and biological material storage areas.

Access should be limited to authorized and designated employees based on the need to enter sensitive areas. Methods for limiting access could be as simple as locking doors or having a card key system in place. Evaluations of the levels of access should consider all facets of the laboratory’s operations and programs (e.g., laboratory entrance requirements, freezer access). The need for entry by visitors, laboratory workers, management officials, students, cleaning/maintenance staff, and emergency response personnel should be considered.

Accident, Injury and Incident Response Plans

Laboratory security policies should consider situations that may require emergency responders or public safety personnel to enter the facility in response to an accident, injury or other safety issue or security threat. The preservation of human life, the safety and health of laboratory employees and the surrounding community must take precedence in an emergency over biosecurity concerns.

Facilities are encouraged to coordinate with medical, fire, police and other emergency officials when preparing emergency and security breach response plans. Standard Operation Procedures (SOPs) should be developed that minimize the potential exposure of responding personnel to potentially hazardous biological materials. Laboratory emergency response plans should be integrated with relevant facility-wide or site-specific security plans. These plans should also consider such adverse events as bomb threats, natural disasters and severe weather, power outages, and other facility emergencies that may introduce security threats.