Biological Hazard, Classification, Sources and Safety Rules

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Biological hazard is one of the many different types of hazards that are exist at the workplace. We cannot eliminate hazards completely but we can try to minimize the risks of it, and to limit the accident occurrence chances.

In the previous article, we discussed different types of hazards, but we did not discuss them in detail. So in this article, we will discuss biological hazard in detail.

What is Biological Hazard?

It is the type of hazards, that are caused due to the effects of viruses, bacteria, insects, or animals, etc. And affect human health directly in the form of biological infections like skin issues, and respiratory system irritation.

Besides this, some biological type hazards cause Blood-borne diseases such as HIV, hepatitis B & C, as well as malaria.

The main cause of these diseases are viruses which transmit via contact, body fluid, infected blood, etc.

According to reports, an average of 320000 worker dies due to communicable diseases.


Different sources that cause Biological Hazard

Different sources that cause these types of Hazards are listed below.

  • Viruses and Bacteria
  • Toxins of biological sources
  • Spores and Fungi
  • Other pathogenic micro-organisms
  • Different types of bio-active substances.

 Identification of Biological Hazard

We have collected series of working environments that can cause Bio hazards for you. So if you are working in any type of the following work environment, You have to take extreme care in this type of work environment.

Different work environments and conditions are mentioned below.

Contact with Human Bodily Matters

Health care workers can affected by biological hazard
Health care workers can be affected by biological hazard

If you are involved in any type of human body interaction. It may be a great source for biological hazards. For example, working in a health care system and dealing /contacting with human bodily matters like Urine, blood, saliva, Mucus,Feces, and tissue, etc.

The contact with the mentioned substances increases the risks of these types of hazards.

Molds and yeasts

If you are working in an industry, where there is a risk of exposure to molds and Yeast is common, It can affect your health.

If you cannot identify these conditions, we are here to help you. These consist of workplaces with a high humidity ratio as well as air conditioning systems. Similarly, you can face the issue in the construction industry.

Contact With Animals and Animal Related Products

You have to pay attention if you are working with live animals or animal-related products.

Animal-related products consist of Milk, eggs, Tissues, Blood, etc. These mentioned are directly exposed to animal diseases and infections.

Similarly, you can get affected by different animal-related flues or Hendra viruses. Which causes a serious allergy situation for you. Therefore it is important to have a constant check on these types of Biological hazards.

Exposing to Organic Materials

Workers are sometimes exposed to organic materials like wastewater, sewerage water, organic dust, foods, and plant materials. These different organic materials have an adverse effect on the health of the worker. And the chances of severe effects are much more.

Besides the above-mentioned risks, there are a lot of more types that can severely affect worker safety and health at the workplace.

However, Sometimes the expose is not obvious always. That is the reason we stress on the safe and healthy work environment to keep viruses and bacteria away from workers.

Classification of Biological Hazards

We classify Biological or Bio Hazards into four different categories or groups. I.e. Group1, Group2, Group 3, and Group 4.

It is worth mentioning that the reason behind these groups is the effects that people or workers may face due to different biological events. We are discussing each group in detail.

  • Group 1: These types of hazards unlikely to cause human disease.
  • Group 2: These type of hazards causes human diseases and affect employee’s health. The spreading across the community is unlikely. However, Treatment is available. Different agents that cause group2 type biological hazards are Salmonella spp, Legionella spp, Pneumophila, Varicella zoster Virus, and influenza virus.
  • Group 3: These types of hazards spread across the community at a fast rate.It is one of the hazardous types of biological hazards in the workplace and can cause severe disease to the employees and workers. However, effective treatment is available and you can safeguard yourself and employees of the workplace.
  • Group 4: Just like group 3 these hazards spread across the community at a fast rate. But no effective treatment is available and you cannot protectyourself and youremployees in common ways.

How to Deal With Biological Hazards at the Workplace?

Dealing with these types of hazards is not an easy task. You will need to pay some extra care and attention in order to tackle down the situation. To deal with the situation we have to perform a proper risk assessment. So let’s include, how to perform.

Risk Assessment for Biological Hazard

You can identify different types of hazards (Biological in this case). After identifying the key facts, you can take different steps to control the situation and avoid hazards. Before we take any controlling step check for the situation below.

  • Is the workplace have any mold or Fungi exist or not?
  • Or the employees at the workplace have direct contact with animals or insects?
  • Is there any employee or worker at the workplace suffering from any type of disease? Or have any contagious sickness.
  • Whether employees working around with pathogens materials such as sewage etc.?
  • Are the workers using any type of personal protective equipment(PPE) at the workplace.?
  • Is there any waste management system available to clean, dispose and take care of waste in the workplace?

Once you have an answer to these questions, you can move forward to tackle down the situation.

Normally two types of control mechanisms are carried out to eliminate risks and biological hazards at the workplace. We classify the control methods into administrative control and Engineering control. Let discuss both in detail.

Administrative Control Method:

The type control mechanism through which you can eliminate or reduce biological hazards through administration. Using this method, you can perform daily activities more safely.

For example, providing immunization programs, awarding sick leaves employees or workers, training employees, and limiting the risks of potential hazards.

Biological Hazard Engineering Control Method:

This type of control mechanism consists of engineering solutions to limit the risk of biological hazards. This is a technical way to reduce or eliminate hazards at the workplace.

Engineering control mechanisms include pest prevention or extermination, properly cleaning workplace, ensuring safety equipment to be used, and disposal of material in the proper way to reduce the risks of Biological hazards.

Once you implement these controls method. You can ensure safety at the workplace for a maximum level. Besides this, it is important to keep a constant check on safety instructions.

And if possible try to revise them with the passage of time to promote a safe work culture at the workplace.