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Occupational Health and Safety Act, 1993 (Act No. 85 of 1993)


Hazardous Biological Agents Regulations

1. Definitions


In these Regulations any word or expression to which a meaning has been assigned in the Act shall have the meaning so assigned and, unless the context indicates otherwise -


"biological agent"

means any micro-organism, cell culture or human endoparasite, including any which have been genetically modified, which may cause an infection, allergy or toxicity, or otherwise create a hazard to human health;



means to remove, as far as is reasonably practicable, all inanimate objects by way of sweeping, cleaning, washing, ventilating or any other process aimed at removing the contaminant;


"diagnostic laboratory"

means a workplace where diagnostic or other screening procedures are performed on blood or other potentially infectious materials;



means to render non-viable virtually all recognised pathogenic micro-organisms, but not necessarily all microbial forms;


"engineering control measures"

means control measures that remove or reduce the exposure of persons at the workplace by means of engineering methods;


"Facilities Regulations’’

means the Facilities Regulations promulgated by Government Notice No. R. 2362 of 5 October 1990 under section 43 of the Act;


"General Administrative Regulations"

means the General Administrative Regulations promulgated by Government Notice No. R.1449 of 6 September 1996 under section 43 of the Act;



means hazardous biological agents which are micro-organisms, including those that have been genetically modified, pathogens, cells, cell cultures and human endoparasites that have the potential to provoke an infection toxic effects, subdivided into the following groups -

a) Group I HBA are HBA that is unlikely to cause human disease;
b) Group 2 HBA are HBA that may cause human disease and be a hazard to exposed persons, which is unlikely to spread to the community and for which effective prophylaxis and treatment is usually available;
c) Group 3 HBA are HBA that may cause severe human disease, which presents a serious hazard to exposed persons and which may present a risk of spreading to the community, but for which effective prophylaxis and treatment is available;
d) Group 4 HBA are HBA that causes severe human disease and is a serious hazard to exposed persons and which may present a high risk of spreading to the community, but for which no effective prophylaxis and treatment is available.



means microbiological entities, cellular or non-cellular, capable of replication or of transferring genetic material;



means the planning and carrying out of the measurement programme and the recording of the results thereof;


"respiratory protective equipment"

means a device which is worn over at least the mouth and nose to prevent the inhalation of airborne hazardous biological agents, and which conforms to a standard, acceptable to the chief inspector:


"safety equipment"

means a contrivance or a device designed to as far as possible try and prevent injury;


"standard precautions"

means a synthesis of the major features of Universal Precautions (UP) and Body Substance Isolation (BSI) and applies to all persons coming into contact with potentially -infected persons, animals or animal products and potentially contaminated blood and other body fluids in health care facilities or elsewhere and -

a) apply to –
i) all blood;
ii) all body fluids, secretions and excretions, except sweat, regardless of whether they contain visible blood or not;
iii) non-intact skin;
iv) mucous membranes: and
v) tissues; and
b) are designed to reduce the risk of transmission of HBA from both recognised and unrecognised sources of infection in workplaces;


"The Act"

means the Occupational Health and Safety Act,1993 (Act No. 85 of 1993)