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Control of Substances Hazardous to Health Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2003

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Classification of biological agents

2.—(1) Where a biological agent does not have an approved classification, the employer shall provisionally classify that agent in accordance with sub-paragraph (2), having regard to the nature of the agent and the properties of which he may reasonably be expected to be aware.

(2) When provisionally classifying a biological agent the employer shall assign that agent to one of the following Groups according to its level of risk of infection and, if in doubt as to which of two alternative Groups is the more appropriate, he shall assign it to the higher of the two–

(a)Group 1—unlikely to cause human disease;

(b)Group 2—can cause human disease and may be a hazard to employees; it is unlikely to spread to the community and there is usually effective prophylaxis or treatment available;

(c)Group 3—can cause severe human disease and may be a serious hazard to employees; it may spread to the community, but there is usually effective prophylaxis or treatment available;

(d)Group 4—causes severe human disease and is a serious hazard to employees; it is likely to spread to the community and there is usually no effective prophylaxis or treatment available.

(3) Where an employer is using a biological agent which has an approved classification and the risk of infection for that particular agent is different from that expected, the employer shall reclassify the agent in consultation with the Executive as if performing a provisional classification under sub-paragraph (2).

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