Anyone who is in contact with research animals and/or their unfixed tissues comes under the rules of the Occupational Health Monitoring Program (OHMP). This includes investigators, research staff, maintenance staff, janitorial staff and visitors.
The OHMP gathers information about persons involved with research animals:
The guidelines then divide people into three categories based on the frequency of their contact with animals:
Group 1: Highest Frequency:
Group 2: Low to High Frequency:
Researchers and their technical staff
Group 3: Low Frequency:
Occasional visitors to facilities e.g. maintenance staff
Students and technical staff must enroll in the OHMP.
Rodent Users must have a current tetanus vaccination and if necessary, a fit test for respiratory protection.
Dog Users must have current tetanus vaccines and a vial of frozen serum maintained for future serologic testing in the advent of exposure to certain infections.
Sheep Users must have a medical evaluation, a current tetanus vaccination, a fit test for respiratory protection and a frozen serum sample saved as a reference for future Q-fever tests.
This category includes people who don't work directly with animals but do work occasionally in the animal facility and/or in close proximity to the animals such as trades people and veterinary students. IACUC provides them with an occupational health education packet. UB employees and students must complete the health history form so medical personnel can perform an individual-specific risk assessment and make recommendations for their health and welfare.
In addition, a CMLAF veterinarian meets with them regarding any specific risks associated with working in sections of the facility or with a particular animal population.
Category three individuals generally can't access the high-risk areas such as dog rooms, sheep rooms and unit BSL2, unless they enroll in the OHMP and/or are accompanied by a qualified CMLAF staff member.
In regulating animal research, the Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee works closely with other safety and environmental groups at the university.
If researchers are using potentially hazardous agents or materials that would fall under NIH guidelines, such as infectious and cancerous agents, highly toxic chemicals or recombinant DNA molecules, then they must register their programs with the university's Biosafety Committee.
If researchers are using radioactive substances in their experiments, they must get them approved by the Department of Radiation Protection.
The principal investigator must inform all who may be exposed to these materials and/or their hazardous degradation products, as well as letting the CM-LAF director or manager know when these projects will start. The information should include:
The Office of Environmental Health and Safety Services can help with: