• United States



The Safety-Security Nexus

Jul 01, 20062 mins
Critical InfrastructureCSO and CISOIT Leadership

The design at Boston University Medical Centers biolab includes elements that cover security, safety and both

SecuritySecurity and SafetySafety
  • Double HEPA filters
  • Airtight seams on all doors, BSL4 uses airlocked double doors
  • Negative air pressure pulls all particles toward lab
  • Airlock precedes lab and given five minute chemical disinfectant bath each time its used.
  • Biocontainment suits have own air supply, washed and inflated (to check for leaks) prior to each use
  • Liquid and solid wastes cooked for 30 minutes in high heat and pressure prior to disposal
  • Building controls include biometrics, electronically logged attendance, video surveillance
  • Site control includes security guards, fencing and bollards, one-way access gates, video surveillance
  • Extensive background checks on all employees
  • Access systems integrated with storage containers to log access to biologics
  • 150-foot building setback
  • Building-within-building design using blast rated external concrete walls
  • Building can be sealed off and allowed to burn to destroy release of deadly biologics
  • Two-person rule (No one is allowed into BSL4 labs alone)
  • All BSL4 labs above ground to prevent water/ground contamination
  • Scientists only in BSL4 labs, they change lightbulbs and dispose of trash and so on
  • Path audit forces scientists to leave BSL4 labs the same way they came in; deviation means alarm sounds
  • GPS tracked vehicles for transportation of deadly toxins to/from the lab
  • Vehicle drivers undergo background checks, given duress alarms
  • Random audits and emergency drills