Biohazard signage on equipment and materials as appropriate

The universal biosafety sign shall be posted on each closed system and primary containment equipment when used to contain viable organisms containing recombinant or synthetic nucleic acid molecules, bloodborne pathogens, human derived materials and other potentially infectious materials.

The following items must be labeled:

  • Containers of regulated waste.
  • Refrigerators, freezers, incubators, or other equipment containing blood or other potentially infectious materials.
  • Sharps disposal containers.
  • Containers used to store, transport or ship blood and other potentially infectious materials (When a secondary container holds a number of smaller items containing the same potentially infectious substance, only the secondary container needs to be labeled).
  • Laundry bags/containers holding contaminated items (Laundry may be placed in a red hamper without a label, a red laundry bag, or a biohazard bag).
  • Contaminated equipment.


  • NIH Guidelines for Research Involving Recombinant or Synthetic Nucleic Acid Molecules. April 2019. Appendix K-IV-K, L, L-II-C-1-f-(3), O-5.
  • BMBL 6th ed. HHS Publication No. (CDC) 300859
  • MSU Biosafety and Security Manual
  • MSU Bloodborne Exposure Control Plan

Corrective actions:

Label all equipment that contain or contact biosafety hazards.

  • Required labels consist of a red or fluorescent orange colored background with the traditional biohazard symbol in a contrasting color.
  • Labels can be an integral part of the container or affixed by a method that prevents the loss of labels or the unintentional removal of labels.
  • You may use clear tape over the label in order to keep it in place and prevent discoloration when using disinfectant solutions.

EHS will maintain a supply of the required biohazard labels and signs, which will be available upon request for campus facilities at the EHS Safety Portal (Lab Label and Lab Door Sign requests).