Biorisk management

CWA 15793 is an international management system for managing laboratory biorisks. It is the result of global work with broad representation from public authorities, biosafety organizations, research institutes, the biotechnology industry, and the EU.

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The laboratory biorisk management system CWA 15793

The purpose of CWA 15793 is to establish the necessary requirements to be able to control risks associated with the handling or storage and terminal storage of biological agents and toxins in laboratories and other facilities.

As an element of its work to strengthen biorisk management, the Public Health Agency of Sweden communicates knowledge and provides guidance on the application of CWA 15793.

The management system is compatible with the Swedish Work Environment Act's requirements concerning employer liability, and with the requirement concerning cooperation between employers and employees as per the Swedish Work Environment Authority's regulations. CWA 15793 also creates opportunities for synergies with other international standards for quality (ISO 9001), the environment (ISO 14001), and health and safety (OHSAS 18001).

CWA 15793 can be used as a tool in a continual improvement process and can be followed during biosafety inspections to identify failings related to laboratory biosafety and biosecurity and how these failings should be rectified.

The CWA 15793 management system can:

  • improve the safety and security of the entire organization
  • increase the efficiency by introducing established practice
  • promote international exchanges and cooperation
  • offer guidance for education and training
  • increase awareness and learning about biorisk management
  • create a foundation for internal audits and for certification.

Web tool (Securing Biorisks)

To facilitate implementation of a biorisk management system within an organization the Public Health Agency of Sweden has developed a web tool for self-assessment of the management of biorisks. The tool is free-of-charge, easily accessed and can be used for self-control as well as for internal and external audit.

The self-assessment follows the structure of CWA 15793 and is based on the following five areas of requirements: Policy, Planning, Implementation and operation, Checking and corrective action and Review. The results from the assessment may be used for the continuous improvement within the organization.

Training courses

Upon request, or if otherwise posted on this web page, the Agency provides training courses on biorisk management. Target groups for these activities are government laboratories, universities / colleges, and international partners. Tailor-made training programs are designed in agreement with the requesting organization. Teaching and training takes the form of lectures, group discussions and practical exercises in the level 2, level 3 or level 4 containment laboratories or as theoretical training programs outside the laboratory facilities.