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These materials are microorganisms, nucleic acids or proteins that cause, or are a probable cause, of infection, with or without toxicity, in humans or animals. Included in this hazard class are bacteria, viruses, fungi and parasites.
The pictogram for this hazardous class looks like three "c"s joined together with a little circle in the middle. The border is a black circle.
Biohazardous infectious materials are usually found in a hospital, health care facility, laboratory, veterinary practices, and research facilities. Workers in these places do not usually know which tissues or fluids contain dangerous organisms. For this reason, the workers should assume that every sample is hazardous and use appropriate protection at all times. Workers in agriculture, fishery and other industries that process raw plant or animal based materials may also be at risk.
Only Biohazardous infectious materials use this pictogram.
For WHMIS 2015, a Biohazardous infectious material is one that falls into Risk Group 2, 3 or 4 as defined by the Human Pathogens and Toxins Act or has been shown to be a cause or probable cause of infection or infection and toxicity in animals. The Human Pathogens and Toxins Act definitions are:
WHMIS 2015 has assigned the following signal word and hazard statement:
|Hazard Class and Category||Signal Word||Hazard Statement|
|Biohazardous Infectious Materials – category 1||Danger||(Wording that describes the nature of the hazard)|
In addition to the specific hazards identified by the biohazardous infectious materials pictogram, it is important to remember that the product may have other hazards. If the product using this pictogram is also potentially hazardous to humans (e.g., physical or health hazards), it would have the other hazard pictograms to warn about its other properties.
Materials in this hazard class should only be used or handled by workers who are appropriately trained, aware of the hazards, and how to control them.
Guidelines on safe handling and storage of human and animal pathogens, toxins and plant pests in laboratories and containment zones are available from the Canadian Biosafety Standards and Guidelines page from the Government of Canada.
Some workplaces may follow routine practices, which are a set of infection control strategies and standards designed to protect workers from exposure to potential sources of infectious diseases. Routine practices are based on the premise that all blood, body fluids, secretions, excretions, mucous membranes, non-intact skin or soiled items are potentially infectious. These practices, while mainly adopted by healthcare providers, apply to all professions in which workers may become exposed to infectious microorganisms through contact with blood and body fluids. Examples of these professions include police officers, trauma/crime scene clean-up crew, zookeepers, laboratory technicians, and embalmers.
Control measures may include:
General precautions include the following tips. If you work in a laboratory or healthcare setting, follow your biosafety or infection control guidelines.