Information for Non-Animal Contact Personnel
This information is provided for personnel who enter dedicated LAR facilities, but whose daily work activities DO NOT include direct animal contact. Such personnel may include: Maintenance staff, Building Services staff, Design and Construction staff, University Police, university administrators, regulatory inspectors, vendors, and visitors.
Animal associated hazards include:
- Physical injuries including bites, scratches, and injuries associated with lifting animals, supplies, or equipment.
- Zoonotic diseases are diseases transmitted from animals to humans. Such diseases are uncommon in laboratory animals. In LAR, personnel risk is further reduced by use of personal protective equipment including disposable gowns and gloves in animal rooms.
- Allergies associated with exposure to allergens found in animal dander or urine. The most common allergies in laboratory animal personnel develop from continued exposure to allergens found in bedding, cages, and dust particles.
Of these hazards, ALLERGIES are the only significant occupational risk for individuals who do not directly handle animals or routinely enter animal rooms.
Allergens are frequently airborne and may adhere to surfaces such as hallway walls. Allergies can develop
to a single animal species or to multiple species and can even begin after long-term exposure.
Allergy symptoms may include:
- Runny nose
- Sneezing and coughing
- Itchy, watery eyes
- Reddening of skin
- Other respiratory symptoms including difficulty breathing or asthma
Since your work does not involve direct animal contact, your risk of developing animal related allergies is low. However, when you plan to enter LAR facilities:
- Notify the LAR main office (644-4262) or Assistant Director (645-1432) upon arrival. LAR personnel will give permission to enter and provide an escort, if necessary. LAR personnel must be notified before beginning work that may cause loud noise, vibrations, or strong odors. LAR personnel must also be notified if you own or have contact with pet or wild rodents or rodent carcasses.
- Follow all posted signs, including instructions regarding restricted entry, personal protective equipment, and light integrity. During dark cycle, if red lights are available, animal room doors should only be opened under red light.
- Do not handle or touch animals or cages.
- If you experience allergy symptoms, report the problem to your supervisor who will initiate workplace illness/injury protocols. If you are not a LAR employee, report the problem to LAR at 644-4262.