Biosafety Cabinets

Working in a biosafety cabinet can result in an increased risk of musculoskeletal injury risk due increased reaching over the air vent. Take care to ensure you’ve set-up your workstation optimally to reduce injury risk.

Working at biosafety cabinet


Poor Ergonomics. Awkward shoulder posture & extended reaching



MSI Risks

Poor Ergonomics: the awkward shoulder posture and extended reaching when using a standard pipette filler and long seriological pipettes are amplified due to the glass barrier and need to reach over the air vent.



Improved Ergonomics. Arms by side

Improved Ergonomics

  • Adjust the height of the biosafety cabinet
  • Adjust chair height and height of footring/footrest
  • Organize work to keep frequently used items as close as possible
  • Place a low provide garbage bin within as close of a reach as possible
  • Use ergonomic pipette filler and shorty seriological pipettes



Improved Ergonomics. Armrest to support forearm

Improved Ergonomics

  • Obtain elbow rest if needed
  • When purchasing a biosafety cabinet an NSF certified with as large of an opening as safely possible, e.g. 12″ to 14″ & a sloped window is preferable


Cleaning biosafety cabinet


Poor Ergonomics. Twisting and Reaching



MSI Risks

  • Extended reaching to wipe the back of the cabinet
  • Places increased strain on the shoulders, neck and back



Improved Ergonomics. Arms by side

Improved Ergonomics

Use a telescopic pole with flat head and paper towel to reach the back of the cabinet. This will reduce the strain on the shoulders, neck and back.


Pipettes provided courtesy of ThermoFisher. Armrest provided courtesy of NuAire.