Biological Agents Notification

Typing at Computer

Under the Safety, Health and Welfare at Work (Biological Agents) Regulations 2013, there is a legal requirement to notify the Health and Safety Authority if working with certain groups of biological agents.

Notification is required 30 days prior to commencement of work with respect to the following:

  • First time use of group 2 biological agents
  • First time use of group 3 biological agents
  • First time use of group 4 biological agents
  • Subsequent use of any group 4 biological agent
  • Subsequent use of a new group 3 biological agent, where the employer provisionally classifies that biological agent.

Laboratories carrying out a purely diagnostic service are not required to notify the Authority unless they are working with a group 4 biological agent. However, if the laboratory is deliberately propagating or concentrating group 2 or group 3 biological agents, then notification will be required. If a group 2 – 4 biological agent is being stored in a culture collection, this will need to be notified to the Authority as the collection will need to be maintained and this will involve viability checks of the agent and deliberate propagation.

How to Notify

Notification may be made using the biological agents’ notification form  or by other suitable methods. If using an alternative method it is a legal requirement that the information as detailed in Regulation 14 (1) (f) of the biological agents’ regulations is included in the notification.

Re-notification is required for all groups if there are changes to processes, procedures or the biological agent, that are of importance to safety and health at work that result in the original notification being invalid or out of date.

Notifications may be submitted to the Authority:

  • By email to
  • In writing to the Health and Safety Authority, Occupational Hygiene Unit, The Metropolitan Building, James Joyce Street, Dublin 1, D01 K0Y8.

Note that the notification requirement is not an approval or licensing system.