Health and Safety for Animal Workers
|The health and well-being of animals used for research purposes
has long been accepted as an obligation of institutions that house
for such animals. As mandated by the federal Animal Welfare Act (AWA), the
U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) adopted animal welfare regulations (AWRs)
that require good care and monitoring of laboratory animals and informed review
and approval of the associated research. Public Health Service Policy on
the Humane Care and Use of Laboratory Animals (PHS
Policy) includes further requirements that must be followed by institutions
PHS-funded animal research.
|The National Research Councilís Guide for Care and Use of Laboratory
Animals provides guidelines and references for establishment
and maintenance of effective programs and facilities for animal
research and is widely accepted as the primary reference for animal
care and use. However, in addition to the welfare of
research animals, it also recommends an Occupational Health and
Safety Program for those working in animal facilities and having
exposure to animals. Based on this recommendation and the
fact that PHS Policy mandates such a program, most institutions
conducting animal research include occupational health and safety
as part of their
excellent reference for personnel health and safety when working
with research animals is
the National Research
Council's Occupational Health and Safety in the Care and Use of Research
Completion of this Web training is intended to be your enrollment into
Princeton Universityís Animal Worker Medical Surveillance Program, which
also a medical review with Employee Health at McCosh Health Center.
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Animal Worker Medical Surveillance Program
All Princeton University faculty, staff and students are required to paricipate in the Animal Worker Medical Surveillance Program if they are involved in the care of vertebrate animals or their living quarters or have contact with animals. There is no cost to you to participate in this program, which is designed to provide:
- occupationally-indicated immunizations and preventive health screening
- clinical evaluation and treatment for individuals with animal-related injuries or illnesses
- information on zoonotic diseases which are naturally transmitted between vertebrate animals and humans.
Prior to work with
research animals, including field research, and admittance to the animal facilities, you need
- complete this Web training.
- contact Employee Health at 258-5035 for an appointment.
- complete the Initial Health
(You will also find a link to this downloadable form at the end
of this training.)
- take the completed form to your appointment at Employee Health at McCosh
- complete the orientation process with the Laboratory Animal Resources manager.
After beginning work with research animals,
you are required to participate in interim surveillance:
- An annual visit to Employee Health and completion of an Interim Health History Form is required for all non-human primate workers, LAR staff and IACUC members.
- Rodent workers must complete an Interim Health History Form annually. If information provided on the Interim Health History Form indicates the need for an evaluation, rodent users are requested to visit Employee Health for an evaluation.
- Aquatics researchers, including those who handle fish and amphibians must complete an Interim Health History every three years. If information on the form indicates the need for an evaluation, aquatics researchers are requested to visit Employee Health for an evaluation.
Contact Employee Health at any time for medical review and consultation
Medical review includes:
- sustain an injury or illness associated with your work or research with animals,
- feel you are developing an allergy,
- are planning a pregnancy, or
- develop health concerns related to your research animal exposure.
For non-human primate workers and IACUC members:
- Review of applicable medical history
- Physical examination, if indicated, to include condition of skin (rashes
- Discussion of risk factors associated with animal contact, including potential
zoonotic agents, allergies, wound care, and potential hazards of field studies.
- Discussion of the health risk associated with compromised immune system
(i.e., cancer, chemotherapy, radiation, steroid use, immunosuppressive drugs
after organ transplant)
- Updating of tetanus-diphtheria immunization, as needed.
- Skin (PPD) test for TB initially and annually (chest X-ray for persons
who have BCG vaccine or history of a positive PPD test)
- Proof of measles (rubeola) vaccine or confirmed immunity (Measles vaccine is provided,
Medical surveillance for field researchers may include any of the elements listed above as well as immunizations and prophylaxis based on recommendations of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the World Health Organization (WHO). Field researchers who travel internationally will also be registered with iSOS, a medical and travel-security services company contracted by the University to provide care to students and staff who are engaged in University-sponsored research while abroad.
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Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC)
AWRs and PHS Policy both require that institutions
conducting animal research have an Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee
(IACUC) to review and
monitor animal care and use and provide oversight of all aspects of animal
research. The Princeton University IACUC inspects all animal facilities
twice a year and reviews the overall animal care program for compliance
with all applicable regulations. Records documenting activities of the IACUC and compliance
with AWRs are maintained for review during inspections
by USDA and others.
Meetings of the IACUC are generally held monthly to review new and continuing
research proposals involving animals. When animal research involves administration of hazardous chemicals,
infectious agents or radioactive materials, the IACUC consults with Environmental Health and Safety, the Institutional
Biosafety Committee (IBC) or the Radiation Safety Committee (RSC) to provide
appropriate review and consultation.
The Princeton University IACUC is chaired by a faculty member. The IACUC membership also includes a veterinarian, several practicing
scientists experienced in research involving animals, and a member from the community
who is not affiliated in any way with the institution.
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