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In some laboratories, work with materials that have the potential to cause disease in humans (e.g. human blood) or which may contain organisms with potential to harm the New Zealand environment or economy may take place.

Laboratories where such work may take place are called Physical Containment (PC) Laboratories and are clearly marked with yellow signs indicating the level of physical containment (from PC1 – PC3) and nature of the hazard (e.g. microbiological, animal, plant).

General guidance on working with biological hazards is contained in the University of Otago Biosafety Manual.    Guidelines for disposal of biohazard wastes from laboratory areas are given in the Laboratory Biohazard Waste Disposal Guidelines.

Please note that in New Zealand the importation, use or development of materials known as New Organisms (including Genetically Modified Organisms) and Imported Risk Goods (including Uncleared Biologicals) are strictly regulated.  Contact your Sector Manager or the Biological Compliance Officer for advice on working with such materials.

Biological Compliance website

More resources on Biological Compliance can be found on the Biological Compliance Website. Access to this website requires a username and password.

To request access to the site, contact the IBSC secretary:


Biological Compliance website

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