Animal Workers

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The purpose of this program is to protect the health and safety of anyone who handles animals at the University. The program is mandated by the Association for Assessment and Accreditation of Laboratory Animal Care International (AAALAC).

Medical Questionnaires must be received from all personnel working with animals.

  • Staff & Faculty
    At time of hire or start of protocol and then every 2 years.
    **Exception personnel working with non-human primates they must be completed yearly**
  • Undergraduate
    Students who will come in contact with animals in their course of study upon entering the program, and who will, when possible, be medically cleared for the duration of their academic program (maximum 5 years).

Restrictions: When a medical problem exists which poses a significant health risk for an employee/student's continued work with an animal species, he/she will be advised of the restriction.

Forms: are distributed by the Office of the Vice President for Research and Sponsored Programs which tracks and maintains clearance data on personnel.  Completed history forms are returned by each employee or student directly to OHD by confidential mail or in person.

Confidentiality of Medical Information obtained in medical history forms or through contact with personnel, students or their physicians is privileged information and is retained in a confidential medical file.  This information is not shared with supervisor, department or administration, and is available only to the medical staff at Occupational Health/Health Services.

Medical Clearance will be given upon review of the Medical History Form, the health service professional may request additional information prior to clearance and/or may restrict the person from working with particular animal species. A restriction is given when it poses a significant health risk for an employee/student if a restriction poses a hardship to the employee, student or university, OHD will work with the family physician, allergist or other specialist, REHS and Principal Investigator/ Facility Manager to institute engineering or procedural changes, Personal Protective Equipment, medications, etc. to allow the individual to continue work with that species if possible.                       

Notification of compliance, Clearance & Restrictions are communicated using the ORSP database. Participants in the program can access the database and view their status.
          
Surveillance for workplace injuries and illnesses through analysis of First Reports of Injury and surveillance of Medical History Forms are done by the Occupational Health Department with assistance from REHS, Risk Management and LAS

TB Screening is done on personnel exposed to nonhuman primates.

Worker Compensation: Workplace injuries and illnesses are evaluated and treated at Occupational Health for the New Brunswick campuses and at Student Health in Newark and Camden.

For injuries involving nonhuman primates, report any injuries or exposures immediately to your supervisor. Infectious Disease consultants at St. Michael’s Medical Center and at the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey are utilized.  In each instance, cases are managed by a team consisting of the hospital infectious disease physician and the Director of Occupational Health, in consultation with CDC B virus specialist and with assistance from the Rutgers University veterinary staff. 

 



Last Updated: 03/14/2013