Occupational Safety

Personal Hygiene

There are a number of personal hygiene issues which apply to all workers who are exposed to animals.

  • There should be no eating, drinking, smoking or applying of cosmetics in areas where animals are housed or used.
  • No animals should be kept overnight anywhere except in the designated animal rooms. There will be exceptions to this only where specific permission has been obtained from the IACUC for the retention of these animals.
  • Gloves should be worn at all times for the handling of animals, their fluids, tissues, or excreta. All contaminated or infected substances should be handled in such a way as to minimize aerosols.
  • There are numerous special requirements for the handling of large animals. Please contact the attending veterinarians for details.
  • Laboratory coats should be worn over street clothes when working with animals. This will decrease the contamination of street clothing. These laboratory clothes should not be worn during eating.
  • Additional precautions are necessary for a number of specific hazardous agents. If infected material is being used in a laboratory, then specific guidelines should be followed for the handling of these biologically sensitive materials.
  • All work surfaces should be decontaminated daily and after any spill of animal-related material.
  • Careful hand washing should be done after handling of animals and prior to leaving the laboratory for any reason.
  • Certain infections are transmitted from animals to humans primarily by the animals' feces or urine entering a human's body by mouth. Examples of this usual means of transmission are Salmonella Shigella, and Entamoeba. It cannot be stressed too much that every precaution should be taken to avoid this mode of transmission by alertness and very careful personal hygiene.