HEALTH & SAFETY
Occupational Health & Safety Program (OHSP) – Animal Care Personnel
This program applies to any University employee (faculty, staff, students, volunteers, and visitors) who works with vertebrate animals, or animal tissues, fluids, secretions, and/or excretions, or who handles caging and related equipment contaminated by animal tissues, fluids, secretions, and/or excretions. In general, alternate provisions should made to prevent persons who do not participate in the OHSP from having incidental contact with animals used in University research or teaching. The purpose of the University of Missouri-Columbia (MU) Occupational Health and Safety (OHSP) Program for animal care personnel is to provide employees a safe work place and comply with regulatory mandates. The department of Environmental Health and Safety (EHS) administers the OHSP with the assistance of the Office of Research, Animal Care and Use Committee, and a contracted health care provider. The responsible animal resource director, principal investigator, or supervisor must include University employees who are at risk in the OHSP. The director, principal investigator, or supervisor will complete the OHSP form and assure the employee completes the OHSP health History Questionnaire (both forms are available on the EHS web site). The completed original OHSP form goes to Environmental Health and Safety with a copy to the contracted health care provider. The completed OHSP Health History Questionnaire goes to the contracted health care provider. The OHSP form is reviewed concurrently by the contracted health care provider and the Veterinary Review Panel (appointed by the Office of Research). EHS reviews the completed OHSP form and makes appropriate recommendations that will be implemented by the responsible animal resource director, principal investigator or supervisor. The responsible principle investigator or supervisor, in consultation with the animal resource directors, will develop safety protocols for animal care personnel when studies impose health risks beyond the routine. Annually, the responsible animal resource director, principal investigator, or supervisor will initiate a brief MU OHSP update form and employee medical history questionnaire.
Health & Medical Surveillance Procedures
All injuries, illnesses, or accidents must be reported immediately to the employee’s supervisor. [Refer to BPPM 8:030 Work-Related Injuries or Occupational Diseases.] The responsible principal investigator or supervisor will assure that all animal care personnel received medical surveillance at the time of employment, and annually thereafter, to assess potential medical predisposition to animal related health risks. The contracted health care provider will review the employee’s OHSP form, OHSP medical history, prescribe risk-specific preventative measures, health monitoring to reduce animal related risk, and maintain all employee OHSP medical records. The health provider will alert employee and supervisor to extraordinary animal related risks due to medical conditions. The Department of Environmental Health and Safety will assign the employee to one of five categories based on risks associated with species of animals, average amount of contact per week, and potential risks associated with that category. The following health safety procedures are required for all employees with animal contact duties:
The Department of Environmental Health and Safety will provide a copy of the completed OHSP form with recommendations to the employee and the employee’s supervisor. EHS maintains the completed OHSP form, tracks and assures recommendation completion. Non-compliance issues will be reported to the Animal Care and Use Committee for review and remedial action.