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Office of Animal Welfare (IACUC)

Occupational Health and Safety for Animal Workers

The Occupational Health and Safety Program is designed to properly educate employees of health risks, prevent, identify, and treat animal related injuries as they arise. Involvement in this program is voluntary, but strongly suggested.

To minimize risks to personnel, a New Employee Physical Exam will be carried out upon hire. As part of the Occupational Health and Safety program, an annual assessment will be required of each employee that identifies the employee’s health status, exposure to animals (duration and animal type) and an opportunity to report any health concerns to the Employee Health Physician. This assessment will be reviewed by the Employee Health Physician, and a physical exam will be scheduled if the physician deems necessary. Access to the Laboratory Animal Facilities will be contingent upon your completing this annual assessment. These forms will be maintained in the employee’s medical record chart in Student/Employee Health. Please note that if problems should arise PRIOR to the annual assessment, these should be reported to the Student/Employee Health Director.

At the time of the annual assessment, you will be required to undergo tuberculin skin testing and review of your immunization status.

It is important to notify your primary physician of your duties and your exposure to animals, since there are risks that may worsen existing conditions (i.e. asthma, etc). If you are pregnant, become pregnant, or have any immunocompromising condition, it is extremely important to notify your physician of your animal-related duties. If you have or develop a disability (limitation) that interferes with your work, it is your responsibility to report that issue to the Student/Employee Health Physician such that an assessment can be arranged to determine if accommodations are necessary.

As with all employees, if you should suffer an injury while at work, you should complete the on-line injury report form and seek care at Student/Employee Health or the UMMC emergency room.

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