Safety Policy & Procedure Manual
Section 200: Workplace Safety
Revised: 6/9/2017




1. Animal: Any live or dead vertebrate animal, including body fluids, excretions, secretions, and unfixed tissues (excluding established animal cell lines or chemically fixed animal tissues).

2. Animal Facility: Any and all buildings, rooms, areas, enclosures, tanks, or vehicles, used for animal confinement, transport, husbandry, breeding, or procedures, including satellite animal facilities.

3. Animal Exposure Training and Education: A program of training and education covering the hazards of working with animals, methods of minimizing risks from those hazards, and species–specific handling and safety information.

4. Hazardous Material Exposure: Any eye, nose, mouth, non-intact skin or parenteral contact with hazardous chemical, biological, or radiological materials.

5. Personal Protective Equipment (PPE): Appropriate combinations of equipment including outer clothing, gloves, sleeves, footwear, eye, face, respiratory and/or hearing protection designed to minimize exposure to hazards that cause workplace injuries or illness.

6. Reservoir host animals for rabies –Mammals; especially unvaccinated canids and felids, skunks, raccoons, foxes, and all types of bats.

7. Risk Assessment: The process by which risks associated with working with animals are identified.

8. Risk Mitigation: The process by which identified risks are managed through actions such as education, training, personal protective equipment, zoonoses surveillance, and/or immunization.

9. Satellite Animal Facility: An IACUC-approved animal facility maintained primarily by an investigator, and outside of direct LARC oversight, in which animals are housed for greater than 12 hours.

10. Student: Any individual exposed to animals during coursework.

11. Supervisors: Department chairs, faculty, principal investigators (PI), facility managers, researchers, instructors or any others who have responsibility for activities covered under the AEP policy.


Program Components

A. Risk-based Assessment

The supervisor conducts the initial risk-based assessment by completing Part I, sections A-C of the Animal Exposure Questionnaire for all individuals covered under the AEP Policy to determine the level of participation in the OSU Animal Exposure Program (AEP).

B. Risk Mitigation

Risks identified by the risk-based assessment must be mitigated by implementing safe work practices, use of appropriate safety equipment, PPE and vaccination as required or deemed necessary.

  1. Training
    1. Training is mandatory for all individuals covered under the OSU Animal Exposure Program Policy, and will be of three types:
      1. Animal exposure safety awareness training
      2. Program or species – specific training
      3. Instructor course curriculum


See table and descriptions below:

Training Type (see i.a.1-3 above) OSU Employees/ Student Employees Students (not employees) All Others as defined in Animal Exposure Policy Section III A.1.c.
1 Required Recommended Recommended
2 Required Recommended Required
3 N/A Required N/A
Training Type 1:

The Animal Exposure Safety Awareness Training, provided by EHS, covers the five major hazards associated with animal work: zoonoses, allergies, physical injuries, sharps use, and experimental hazards associated with the use of biological or chemical agents in animals. Training also includes discussions covering the necessity of personal hygiene, environmental control measures to prevent illness or allergy, appropriate personal protective equipment, safety equipment, and emergency response and notification procedures. Note: Where appropriate for the participants, rabies prevention awareness training and the requirements of the OSU Rabies Prevention Program are also included.

Training Type 2:

The program or species–specific training content will vary somewhat according to the type of animal exposure the activities to be done in the context of animal exposure, the equipment and facilities, and the level of trainee experience. The supervisor will ensure that information is included on how to approach, restrain and handle animals under study in a safe and humane way. Other topics should include facility entry / exit procedures, specific zoonotic agents possibly present in the species, safe sharps use during procedures involving sharps (if appropriate), and any other known hazards of working with the particular animal species or conducting the procedures to be done. (See Resources at the end of this procedure).

Training Type 3:

The instructor course curriculum - Instructors of classes where animal handling or exposure is part of the course curriculum will be responsible for providing students enrolled in the course with information about:

  • species–specific handling and safety information.
  • personal hygiene information.
  • risks to humans and methods of protection.
    (See resources at the end of this procedure)


  1. training continued
    1. When studies involving animals are conducted at Animal Biosafety Level 2 (ABSL-2) or higher, additional training in animal biosafety practices is required. This training will be provided by EHS, but must be supplemented with program/species–specific information in appropriate cases by the supervisor.
    2. Training must include “no eating, drinking, storage of food, chewing gum, handling of contact lenses, application of lip balm or cosmetics is allowed in any animal room or holding area”.
    3. The supervisor is responsible for ensuring that animal work involving hazardous chemicals, biological or physical materials is reviewed and approved by the corresponding university safety committees.
    4. The supervisor is responsible for providing task-appropriate personal protective equipment, restraining devices, or other safety equipment to mitigate identified risks.
  2. Confidential Medical Evaluation
    1. OSU Employees (including student employees) must be enrolled in the program prior to contact with animals.
      1. Each employee must complete an Initial Animal Exposure Questionnaire which requires input from both the individual and supervisor.
      2. The employee must send the completed questionnaire to OSU Occupational Medicine (OCM) for evaluation.
      3. OCM must send a copy of Part 1 of the questionnaire to Environmental Health and Safety (EHS), which outlines the animal species used, training given and use of hazardous biological, chemical and physical agents. No confidential medical information is included in this first section of the questionnaire.
      4. If screening identifies potential health risks, OCM providers will further evaluate individuals, administer immunizations, order titers, give recommendations, and make referrals as appropriate.
      5. An Annual Health Surveillance Questionnaire is to be completed every year for the duration of animal work at OSU.
      6. Individuals who decline participation in the medical evaluation portion of the program may do so by signing appropriate declinations acknowledging their awareness of risks.
    2. All students who have exposure to animals may contact EHS and/or OCM for further information.
    3. All “Others‟ (as defined in policy) are required to complete and send the Non-OSU Employee Animal Exposure Questionnaire to OCM.
  3.  Medical Care for Animal-Related Illness, Injury, or Unsafe Condition
    1. Supervisors must ensure that all individuals with exposure to animals have immediate access to a first aid kit. Red Cross first aid training is recommended for animal workers. See the OSU Safety Policy: First Aid and Medical Service.
    2. All bites and scratches, cuts or scrapes must be flushed immediately with water, washed with soap and water, followed by treatment with antiseptic. The injured individual should report for medical attention as needed.
    3. Bites, scratches or exposure to saliva incurred from contact with any animal considered a potential reservoir host animal for rabies must be treated as a possible exposure to rabies virus. Individuals potentially exposed to rabies must follow the procedures detailed in the OSU Human Rabies Prevention Program. The employee and/or supervisor must complete the Animal Bite Form within one business day.
    4. The employee’s supervisor must complete the HR Advocate Public Incident Reporting Form.
    5. Medical treatment should be provided as follows:
      1. Call 911 for any life threatening medical situation.
      2. For severe injury or other severe medical situation, report to the nearest Emergency Department.
      3. For non-life threatening and less severe medical situations:
        1. Employees - should report to a community occupational health provider, a local urgent/immediate care facility or the nearest Emergency Department (ED) if neither of the first two options is available.
        2. Students – should report to Student Health Services for treatment or referral during business hours. After hours report to a local urgent/immediate care facility or ED if neither of the first two options is available.
        3. Others - should report to a community occupational health provider, a local urgent/immediate care facility or the nearest Emergency Department (ED) if neither of the first two options is available.
  4. Incident Reporting
    1. Individuals must notify their supervisor of all animal bites, scratches, cuts and scrapes, kicks, or other injuries. Individuals must also notify their supervisor in the event of any recognized exposure to zoonoses, biological or chemical hazards administered to animals for experimental purposes, work-related illness, or any other work-related injury.
    2. Supervisors must follow university procedures for reporting of illness or injury to the Office of Human Resources.
    3. Oregon law requires that animal bites be reported within one business day to the local county health department. In Benton County, animal bites are reported to the Benton County Health Department.
    4. All unsafe conditions or practices must be reported to EHS. EHS will investigate and make recommendations to improve safety or mitigate unsafe conditions as necessary.

C. Risk Monitoring

  1. The Occupational Health Advisory Committee (OHAC)
    1. Performs an annual review of the program
    2. Reports updates to the IACUC semi-annually
    3. Completes an annual report that is sent to the Vice President for Finance and Administration

D. Other Considerations

  1. Compliance
    1. Only individuals who are currently enrolled in the Animal Exposure Program may participate in university-sponsored animal activities, including research and teaching; or perform work with animals or in animal facilities, either paid or unpaid.
    2. The supervisor will ensure compliance with this policy for all Individuals under their direction.
  2. Cost
    1. Work-related services delivered by OCM are covered by OSU central funds, including health surveillance questionnaires and all required immunizations and/or blood tests.