Biological Safety

Aerosol Transmissible Diseases

The Cal/OSHA Aerosol Transmissible Diseases (ATD) Standard was adopted in 2009 to protect employees who are at increased risk of contracting certain airborne infections due to their work activities. 

This California workplace safety law requires certain employers with employees exposed to aerosol transmissible diseases to have effective written safety plans (see information on BUA below), provide protective equipment as needed, and train employees on safety procedures.

California Workplace Guide to ATD
Cal/OSHA ATD Fact Sheet

Scope of the Regulations with Regard to Laboratory and Field Research

Principal investigators with research involving any of the agents listed in “Appendix D: Aerosol Transmissible Pathogens – Laboratory” of the regulations must establish, implement and maintain a written biosafety and exposure control plan that meets the requirements of subsection (f) on Laboratories. Appendix D includes human cytomegalovirus, shiga toxin-producting E. coli, and herpes simplex virus 1 and 2.

The ATD Standard - Zoonotic section explicitly covers the risks of zoonotic disease transmission and operations involving the capture, sampling, or transportation of wildlife and operations involving samples, cultures, or other materials potentially containing zoonotic aerosol transmissible pathogens.


Principal investigators complete a Biological Use Authorization (BUA) for Institutional Biosafety Committee review. The BUA serves as the written biosafety and exposure control plan and describes the work procedures that minimize the production of aerosols, the use of personal protective equipment, cleaning and decontamination procedures, locations of emergency healthcare services, and the symptoms of infection for the pathogens associated with the project. As the biosafety and exposure control plan, the BUA must be reviewed, updated annually and as needed, and filed with the biosafety officer to document compliance with the ATD Standard.

Cal/OSHA requires that exposure control plans are reviewed and acknowledged annually. BUAs are to be updated with

  • BBP training dates within the last 12 months for group members,
  • Documented review of the safety protocols,
  • Biosafety cabinet certification date(s) as applicable.

Please file signatures pages with the biosafety officer at or mail code 5132.



Training is required annually. The biosafety officer provides monthly in-person (videoconference) training on the regulations and their implementation at UCSB; dates and times are on the EH&S Training tab.
An online refresher unit is now available through the UCSB Learning Center. Attendees of in-person presentations are not automatically enrolled to receive notifications for refresher training; the biosafety officer enrolls individuals at the direction of the PI and based on the scope of work. Access is through the UCSB Learning Center. The prerequisite is one "Biological Safety" presentation. For more information, please contact


The ATD Standard applies to specific workplace settings, and interim guidance from Cal/OSHA regarding the pandemic does not expand the scope of the ATD Standard.

Campus leadership has developed the UCSB COVID-19 Prevention Plan, an overarching document for the entire campus describing general guidance and mitigation strategies to limit the transmission of the COVID-19 virus. In addition, a Worksite Specific Safety Plan (WSSP) was created as a template to assist departments with the development of their location specific work plan to ensure compliance with all local and state requirements for re-opening.

For questions on the ATD Standard, contact the biosafety officer at 805.893.8894.
For questions on the Workplace Specific Safety Plan, please contact

Cal/OSHA Aerosol Transmissible Diseases Standard
Cal OSHA Title 8, Section 5199, Appendix D: Aerosol Transmissible Pathogens – Laboratory
Cal/OSHA § 5199.1 Aerosol Transmissible Diseases - Zoonotic
Full length Cal/OSHA ATD Biosafety Plan template, January 2020
ATD Addendum
Respiratory Protection Manual