Presentation on theme: "THE UNIVERSITY OF TEXAS AT TYLER Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee Education: The Animal Care Technician *Note: Content not specific to UT Tyler."— Presentation transcript:
THE UNIVERSITY OF TEXAS AT TYLER Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee Education: The Animal Care Technician *Note: Content not specific to UT Tyler is from the American Association for Laboratory Animal Science (AALAS)
The Animal Research Environment All animals used for research and non-research purposes at UT Tyler are handled and cared for according to federal regulations. The document that establishes these regulations is called The Guide for the Use and Care of Animals. Other regulations that UT Tyler must follow are established by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the US Government Principles The Office of Laboratory Animal Welfare (OLAW) is the federal agency in charge of enforcing federal regulations
Guide for the Care and Use of Laboratory Animals The Guide for the Care and Use of Laboratory Animals is a booklet prepared by The Institute of Laboratory Animal Resources (ILAR), and is based on the US Public Health Service regulations for animal care and use. The purpose of the Guide, first published in 1963 and last revised in 1996, is to help institutions address issues that concern the humane care, use and maintenance of laboratory animals. The Guide outlines and references adequate veterinary care, facility environment and housing requirements, personnel qualifications, sanitation standards, surgical and postsurgical care, acceptable euthanasia techniques and facility construction guidelines.
The Animal Welfare Act The Guide and UT Tyler regulations are based on The Animal Welfare Act: Groups or institutions that sell, auction, exhibit, transport, breed or conduct research with animals are subject to regulation by the Animal Welfare Act. The Animal Welfare Act regulates the use of all warm-blooded vertebrates in research except birds, rats and mice bred exclusively for research and farm animals used or intended for use as food or fiber. The Act also excludes farm animals intended for use in studies to improve animal nutrition, breeding, management or production efficiency. The Animal Welfare Act covers all wild mammals, even wild rats and mice. The regulations deal with housing, handling, feeding, watering, sanitation, ventilation, transportation, separation of species and veterinary care for these animals.
The Research Facility Environment The goal of research is to gain new knowledge with which to improve the future of people and animals. This research requires personnel, money to pay for supplies, salaries, animal care, equipment and facilities. The largest source of government funding for biomedical research comes from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) as grants-in-aid. Other government agencies, such as the National Science Foundation, the Environmental Protection Agency and some state and local government agencies also provide grants for biomedical research.
The Research Grant Grants from local, state, and federal organizations provide money to purchase the equipment and labor necessary to carry out the study. A portion of this money covers the costs of animal care at a laboratory animal facility. Granting agencies, institutions and scientists have a vested interest in making sure that the services and animal care provided by the laboratory animal facility and its staff are appropriate and cost effective.
The Research Proposal Before a research program can begin, the scientist must write a detailed outline of the proposed research. This document, referred to as a research proposal, explains: Specific aims of the research study Members of the research team Expected results of the research How the research will be beneficial Describes what methods/procedures will be used to accomplish these aims (the protocol)
The Research Proposal and the IACUC The animal protocol is a description of specific procedures to be done during the research study, and is a very important part of the proposal. The protocol is the focus of review by a committee at UT Tyler called the Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC). This group of persons determines if the use of animals is appropriate, and ensures that the rights of animals are protected throughout the study.
The IACUC The IACUC reviews all protocols that require the use of animals, and approval of the protocol by the IACUC is required before any animal work can begin. The IACUC must base its decisions on fundamental scientific principles as well as the laws and regulations that govern the use of animals research. If a proposed protocol fails to meet these criteria, the IACUC can either require the investigator to make modifications or can refuse to permit the project to begin or continue.
The IACUC The UT Tyler IACUC reports to the Institutional Official (IO) who is appointed by the President of the University The IO for UT Tyler is Dr. Michael Odell, Director of Research.
The Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee The IACUC is responsible for: Overseeing animal research programs at UT Tyler Reviewing research protocols that require the use of animals to be sure the methods of animal care and use are appropriate and in compliance with federal regulations and UT Tyler policies Inspecting animal facilities and evaluating animal care programs twice a year Reporting their findings and plans for correction of deficiencies to the Institutional Official Serving as an information resource on animal welfare concerns for institutional personnel and the community at large
IACUC Legal and Moral Responsibilities The Committee includes a veterinarian with experience in laboratory animal medicine, scientists from within the institution who use research animals, a nonscientist and a person not affiliated with the institution. In the United States, the legal and primary moral responsibilities for good animal care rest with the institution itself. At UT Tyler, the IACUC and Institutional Official can exert the necessary controls to ensure quality animal care. An IACUC that fails to comply with its duties can cost the institution its ability to receive public funding for animal research.
UT Tyler’s Animal Occupational Health and Safety Program Federal regulations and UT Tyler policies mandate that any employee working in laboratory animal facilities or with substantial animal contact be enrolled in an Animal Occupational Health and Safety Program
UT Tyler’s Animal Occupational Health and Safety Program This includes persons involved in direct care of animals and/or their living environments This also includes persons with periodic contact with animals (live or sacrificed), their viable tissues, body fluids, or wastes
UT Tyler’s Animal Occupational Health and Safety Program This policy then will include researchers, educators, vivarium staff, laboratory assistants, physical plant and housekeeping employees, and at times, students, visitors and guests.
UT Tyler’s Animal Occupational Health and Safety Program Initiation into the occupational health program involves completing the Health Risk Survey, submitting it to the Director of UT Tyler’s Environmental Health and Safety department After review by a health care professional, the employee may be cleared for animal contact, or may be called in for recommendations to see a their personal health care provider for immunizations or other intervention to minimize adverse health problems
UT Tyler’s Animal Occupational Health and Safety Program Personnel must do an update survey every three years, or more frequently depending on the risk level. All personnel are to be familiar with details concerning this program in the UT Tyler IACUC Policy Handbook
The Research Team The size of research teams vary, depending on the type of investigation and the resources available. Typically, the team includes the principal investigator, co- investigators, research technicians, the laboratory animal veterinarian, and laboratory animal technicians. The principal investigator, or PI, is the scientist who plans and coordinates all phases of the research work. He or she develops an idea and prepares the protocol. The PI, co-investigators, and research technicians perform the experiment and interpret the data. The PI is responsible for reporting the research findings to the scientific community.
Members of the Research Team Co-investigators and research technicians usually perform the specific research tasks required for the protocol. These include observing the experimental animals, performing laboratory tests, and assisting with preparations. These team members also collect, organize and analyze the data generated from the research protocol. Depending on their level of training and knowledge, animal technicians may perform some of these functions.
Laboratory Animal Technicians Animal technicians are essential members the research team. They perform many animal care functions critical to the maintenance of healthy animals. By doing this they also can control undesirable factors that adversely affect the research project. Such factors include: Cleaning schedules Sanitation procedures Feeding Bedding Humidity Heat Light Noise
The Animal Care Technician If improperly controlled, variations in any of these factors can contribute to physiological changes, disease debilitating conditions in laboratory animals. Animal technicians should make sure animals get proper medical care by alerting veterinary staff when any abnormalities are noted. The veterinarian can then provide medical attention and possible treatment.
Responsibilities of Animal Care Technicians Animal technicians must be willing to learn as much as possible about the animals under their care and the field of laboratory animal science. They must learn to follow instructions and perform work accurately according to prescribed standard operating procedures (SOPs). They must report to their supervisors and principal investigators anything that could adversely affect animal welfare. For example: Information on environmental changes Changes in animal handling methods Errors in the performance of day-to-day husbandry tasks. This takes knowledge, confidence, maturity and honesty.
Laboratory Animal Veterinarian The laboratory animal veterinarian commonly coordinates animal care activities and advises investigators on proper animal selection and use. In addition, the laboratory animal veterinarian is responsible for the overall maintenance of animal health and assurance of compliance with various regulations and policies that affect research animals.
Commercial Animal Suppliers and Equipment Quality research depends on the laboratory equipment and supplies as well as the animals used. Commercial animal suppliers provide animals that meet specific research requirements. Cage and specialty equipment manufacturers and feed mills must supply products that meet or exceed minimum requirements specified by current standards, laws and regulations.
Hygiene in the Laboratory Animal Facility The differences among sterilization, disinfection and sanitization are a matter of degree of cleanliness. Sterilization refers to the destruction of all organisms on an object. Disinfection refers to reduction of the number of pathogenic microorganisms on an object to a harmless level. Sanitization refers to reduction of the number of microorganisms on an object to an acceptable public health standard. The word "sanitization" also refers to making an object aesthetically pleasing and clean.
Lesson 2. Sterilization Sterilization As stated in the previous lesson, sterilization is the destruction of all organisms on an object. Disinfection and sanitization refer to the reduction in the number of organisms, not their total destruction. Definitions for "disinfection" and "sanitization" will be reviewed in a later lesson.
Lesson 2. Sterilization: Autoclaving Autoclaves sterilize items by long exposure to moisture at high temperature and pressure. Compared to other sterilization methods, autoclaving is fast, reliable and relatively cheap. Moreover, it avoids the use of toxic chemicals. To be sterile, items should be autoclaved for at least 15 minutes at 250°F (121°C) and with a pressure of 15 pounds per square inch (psi). The number of microorganisms that have contaminated an item and the type and size of the material being sterilized determines the autoclaving time. For example, extra sterilization time is required for large bags of bedding, nested shoebox cages, or heavily wrapped surgical instruments.
Lesson 2. Sterilization: Autoclaving How do Autoclaves work? Autoclaves are available in types and sizes that meet a variety of needs. Most have a mechanism for regulating the steam pressure and evacuating the air inside the chamber. Like some cabinet washers, autoclaves can have clean-side and soiled-side doors. High pressure is important. It allows steam to be superheated, which means heated beyond its normal temperature of 212°F (100°C) at atmospheric pressure. Superheated steam penetrates wrapped items more thoroughly for better sterilization. Autoclaves can be dangerous if not operated properly. Because steam under high pressure is used to achieve the temperature needed for sterilization, laboratory animal facility personnel are advised to handle autoclaves with great caution. Animal technicians should learn all about the particular machines they are going to use before attempting to operate them.
Lesson 2. Sterilization: Other sterilization methods Because of sensitivity to heat, moisture or high pressure, some items cannot be sterilized by autoclaving. Other acceptable sterilization techniques include: gas treatment with ethylene oxide dry heat sterilization chemical sterilization gamma irradiation filtration of liquids
Lesson 3. Disinfection Disinfectant Types A disinfectant described with the suffix “cidal” is one that has killing action. A bactericidal disinfectant kills bacteria but not necessarily spores. A sporicidal disinfectant kills spores and bacteria. A disinfectant that has the suffix “static” merely inhibits microorganism growth. A bacteriostat, for example, prevents the growth of bacteria but does not necessarily kill them. Chemicals, such as phenols, sodium hypochlorite (bleach) and quaternary ammonias, are commonly used to disinfect nonliving objects such as floors and equipment.
Lesson 3. Disinfection Sodium hypochlorite Sodium hypochlorite (bleach) is a superior disinfectant because it kills many types of bacteria and viruses. It is inexpensive and readily available. Bleach must be used carefully, as it can harm delicate tissues such as the eyes and lungs. Bleach does not contain dirt loosening detergents, so its effectiveness can be impaired if surfaces are not cleaned of organic matter and debris before the bleach is applied.
Lesson 3. Disinfection Phenolic Compounds At one time, phenolic compounds were popular disinfectants, even though high concentrations were needed to produce the desired level of disinfection. It was found, however, that cats and certain other laboratory animals react adversely to phenol.
Lesson 3. Disinfection Quaternary Ammonia Compounds Quaternary ammonia compounds are weak disinfectants, even though these agents destroy the cell membranes of certain types of microorganisms. They are available as: Virucides Algicides Fungicides Quaternary ammonias are less effective when mixed with detergents or soaps because the combination neutralizes their disinfecting capability.
Lesson 3. Disinfection Disinfection Disinfection is the process by which pathogenic organisms (but not necessarily spores) are destroyed. Disinfectants are usually too strong for use in or on living animals. Disinfectants are sometimes classified according to the type of microorganism they are most effective against.
Lesson 4. Sanitization Sanitization Sanitization is the process by which the number of bacteria and other organisms living on inanimate objects is reduced enough to prevent disease. The process involves making the objects clean and aesthetically pleasing. Sanitization should not be confused with disinfection, and neither term should be confused with sterilization. Briefly: Sanitization is a process of cleansing. Disinfection is a process killing some microbes or preventing their growth. Sterilization kills all microorganisms and makes the object sterile.
Lesson 4. Sanitization Sanitization in an Animal Facility In the animal facility, sanitization includes routine cleaning of items such as: Floors Cages Walls Feeders Sinks Implements Tables
Lesson 4. Sanitization Sanitization Process The sanitization process involves removal of: Dirt Hair Dust Saliva Blood Feces Urine Surfaces to be sanitized are washed with detergents and rinsed with a chemical sanitizer or water at 180°F (82°C).
Lesson 4. Sanitization Sanitization Procedures Frequent sanitization of equipment and animal rooms is essential. Chemical and microbiologic contamination must be removed by cleaning. Equipment must be monitored for substances harmful to the experimental animals. Deodorants cannot be used in place of adequate sanitation. In many cases, different chemicals are not compatible. The indiscriminate mixing of these chemicals can cause reactions which are hazardous to animals and people.
Lesson 5. Guidelines for Handling Chemicals The following are some guidelines concerning the handling of chemicals: Store chemicals in a cool, central area. Follow the instructions on the label. Excess usage produces little difference in the end result and, in most cases, is hazardous Never use a container that is not labeled. Do not make an assumption as to the contents. It is cheaper to waste something than to make a mistake. If you put a chemical in a different container you must label the new container. Never mix two chemicals together unless authorized by the manufacturer to do so. For example, mixing ammonia and bleach produces a toxic gas. Do not accept product samples unless they will be evaluated within a short period of time. Unused samples lying around increase the chance of misuse.
Lesson 6. Cage Changes Cage Changes According to the ILAR Guide for the Care and Use of Laboratory Animals, cages should be changed often enough "to provide a healthy environment for an animal, in accord with its normal behavior and physiologic characteristics". Specific methods and frequencies will vary with the species and cage type, as well as other factors. The number of animals housed in a cage, the cage size and the type of bedding are important in deciding how often to change cages.
Lesson 6. Cage Changes Facilities that follow these standards generally change solid-bottomed rodent cages one to two times a week. Most suspended drop-bottom cages are changed at least once every two weeks. Daily cleaning and bedding replacement are essential for larger animals such as dogs, cats and nonhuman primates. The Animal Welfare Act Regulations set minimum cleaning standards for cages, feeders and water bottles used for many laboratory animal species.
Lesson 7. Animal Equipment Cleaning Techniques Cage Washers Dirty cages and equipment should be taken to the cagewashing area for cleaning. Trays and other equipment should not be hand cleaned in the animal room. Hand cleaning can cause dust and microorganisms to become airborne, thus contaminating the animal room environment. Some cagewashing areas are partitioned by walls into a clean side and a dirty side. Cagewashers used in this setting are called pass-through washers. Soiled equipment is delivered to the door on the dirty side, where it is prepared for cleaning. Cages and trays are scraped free of most bedding, feces and other debris.
Lesson 7. Animal Equipment Cleaning Techniques Descalers Applying chemical descalers (usually an acid solution) in the cages removes most of the urine scale. Appropriate protective equipment (gloves and goggles) should be worn when using these acid solutions.
Lesson 7. Animal Equipment Cleaning Techniques Transferring Clean Cages to Storage Cages are then put into the cagewasher to remove any remaining debris or chemicals and to sanitize them. Following sanitation in the cagewasher, the equipment is removed through the door on the clean side. From there it is transferred to storage areas or returned to use. Nonpartitioned cagewashing areas should also have designated clean and dirty areas to help prevent contamination of clean equipment.
Lesson 7. Animal Equipment Cleaning Techniques Cleaning Cage Accessories Feeders and Dishes After properly disposing of uneaten food, feeders and dishes are scrubbed free of debris. They may be soaked in disinfectant before being put through the cagewasher. The proper soaking time is usually listed on the label of the disinfectant container.
Lesson 7. Animal Equipment Cleaning Techniques Water Bottles A bottle brush may be needed to loosen deposits inside watering bottles. Emptied bottles are placed mouth down on the holding racks in a bottle washing machine. After manual rinsing, sipper tubes are usually washed in a cage or tunnel washer. Bottles are refilled either one at a time under a standard faucet, or by means of an automatic bottle filler, which fills a rack of bottles at a time.
Lesson 7. Animal Equipment Cleaning Techniques Cleaning Large Equipment Equipment too large to fit into cagewashers should be vigorously hand-scrubbed or pressure washed, using detergents and disinfectants, then rinsed with water before use. Feed and bedding containers should be cleaned and disinfected before refilling. They should be dried thoroughly after cleaning, as moisture can promote microbial growth and spoilage.
Lesson 8. Animal Room Cleaning Schedules and Techniques Animal Room Cleaning Schedules How often animal rooms are cleaned depends on the type of animals housed and the animal facility’s cleaning program. Sinks should be clean, free of clutter, and stocked with soap and towels. Vents and doors should be kept free of dust, grime, hair, and feathers. Clogged vents reduce air circulation. Trash cans should have disposable plastic liners and should be emptied frequently. They should be disinfected regularly.
Lesson 8. Animal Room Cleaning Schedules and Techniques Animal Room Cleaning Animal rooms, storage rooms and corridors should be cleaned with appropriate detergents and disinfectants as often as needed to keep them free of dirt and contaminants. Animal rooms should be emptied, cleaned and disinfected on a fixed schedule depending on the species housed. Cleaning should include walls, ceilings, lights and all other exposed surfaces. Sinks, brooms, mops and buckets in animal rooms should be cleaned after each use. Mop heads should be replaced or laundered frequently. Cleaning items (mops, buckets, brooms) should remain in the animal room where they are used, and be used ONLY for the cleaning of that room. This reduces the chance of spreading disease from room to room.
Lesson 9. Other Equipment Changes Caging Accessories Regular sanitization of racks, feeders, watering devices and other pieces of equipment keeps them clean and contamination-free. Racks with built-in cages, for example, should be washed at least twice monthly. Cleaning schedules for feeders depend on the number and type of animals being fed and the type of diet. It is critical that water bottles, automatic water valves and sipper tubes be inspected daily to be sure they are working properly. Replacing used water bottles with sanitized and full bottles ensures that the animals have all the clean water they need. To prevent cross-contamination when bottles are refilled rather than replaced, they must be put back on the cages from which they came. Replacing water vessels once or twice a week is usually an acceptable routine.
Lesson 9. Other Equipment Changes Automatic Watering Systems Racks that have automatic watering systems need special cleaning attention. After cleaning the racks, attached watering equipment should be thoroughly flushed before reconnecting the rack to the animal room water lines. This helps prevent chemical contamination of the watering system and removes any air bubbles in the lines that may prevent the drinking valves from operating properly. Racks should be stored with all water lines empty to prevent stagnation and the accumulation of deposits.
Lesson 10. Environmental Monitoring Environmental Monitoring Periodic environmental monitoring can be used to evaluate the efficiency of sanitization techniques. Monitoring for proper washing and rinsing temperatures, in addition to visually checking the gauges during the operation of the washer, requires the use of a temperature indicator. A common type of temperature indicator is a special plastic strip labeled with heat sensitive indicators. The indicator is attached to the surface of the equipment, which is then sent through the washer. On removal of the equipment, the strip indicates what the highest water temperature was when the water struck the equipment surface. The rinse water temperature should reach at least 180°F (82.2°C). A log of the test results, including date of testing, should be maintained.
Lesson 10. Environmental Monitoring Bacteria Testing Testing for bacteria on the surface of clean cages and other equipment that have been through the cage washer is also a common monitoring method. Small plastic dishes containing a nutrient substance suitable for bacterial growth are pressed onto the surface of a clean area. The plate is then placed in an incubator or allowed to sit at room temperature for 24 hours. Any bacteria present on the cage surface will grow on the nutrient substance and thus indicate the effectiveness (or lack of) of the cleaning procedure.
Lesson 11. Vermin Control Vermin Control A properly constructed building, a good housekeeping program, and proper waste disposal help control vermin populations such as flies, fleas, cockroaches, ticks, wild rodents and other undesirable animals. These creatures can induce and spread disease, carry infectious parasites and contaminate food and water, all of which compromise experimental results. Vermin usually enter a facility on feed, bedding, humans and other animals. They also enter the building through cracks and small openings. Keeping animal areas sanitary, disposing of food and bedding properly, closing doors, and sealing cracks help prevent vermin entry. These precautions also help eliminate their breeding sites. Keeping windows and exterior doors closed or screened also helps. Wild rodents that enter a facility must be trapped.
Lesson 11. Vermin Control Pesticides The use of pesticides in animal areas should be strictly controlled. Investigators must consent to their use, as pesticides, just like deodorants, can compromise experimental results. Pesticides should be applied only by knowledgeable people. These chemicals must not be allowed to contact the animals or their feed, bedding or water. As part of a comprehensive control program, relatively harmless chemicals, such as boric acid and amorphous silica, can help control cockroach infestations. In all cases of pesticide use, package instructions must be followed carefully.
Lesson 12. Personal Safety and Hygiene Personal Safety and Hygiene For their own safety as well as that of fellow employees, all personnel must follow the facility’s established safety guidelines. Technicians should take the initiative in learning about the hazards in their work environment. Wearing proper protective clothing, following good personal hygiene practices and maintaining high cleanliness standards prevents unnecessary risks. Keeping oneself and the work area neat and orderly is an essential part of a quality husbandry program. Doing so conveys an attitude of professionalism and enhances sanitation and hygiene programs.
Lesson 12. Personal Safety and Hygiene Protective Clothing Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) is the term used to describe the various types of clothing and equipment which help to prevent contact with infectious, toxic or corrosive agents. Also included is equipment which protects workers against temperature extremes and other physical hazards. The type of clothing and equipment needed depends on the procedures being performed. For example: People who handle nonhuman primates need to wear a lab coat or gown, mask, eye or face shield, gloves, cap and protective footwear. Personnel using acid to descale cages need to wear protective goggles, aprons and gloves. On the other hand, those handling rodents in a conventional facility may not need much protective clothing. Certain types of protective clothing provide greater comfort than others. Comfort, however, is not the deciding factor in the selection of protective clothing.
Lesson 12. Personal Safety and Hygiene Footwear and Ear Protection Footwear: Personnel who work on wet floors should wear rubber boots or shoes. Non-slip bottoms and steel-toed shoes offer protection against slipping, as well as protecting against injuries from dropped equipment. Disposable shoe covers must be worn over shoes to prevent cross-contamination in germfree, quarantine and isolation areas. Work shoes must be worn only in the facility; they should never be taken or worn home. Ear Protection: Ear protectors or ear plugs are recommended in all noisy areas (such as cagewash areas) in which the average noise level is 85 decibels or greater.
Lesson 12. Personal Safety and Hygiene Eye and Face Protection Eye and Face Protection: Safety goggles, safety glasses and eye and face shields protect against contact with foreign objects and sprays or splashes of toxic or corrosive chemicals. These items also protect against the danger of splashing infectious materials (bacteria or viruses) into the eye while working around these biohazards. Goggles offer the best protection because they cover the entire eye and surrounding area. Facilities should also have eyewash stations in areas where chemical splashes could occur (see photo).
Lesson 12. Personal Safety and Hygiene Face Masks There are several types of masks that can be worn, depending on the degree of protection required. A simple surgical mask may be suitable in some cases. A respirator, which is a mask with special devices which filter incoming air, may be more appropriate in other cases. Closely fitted face masks are the most effective in preventing personnel from inhaling contaminants and protecting the animals from human-carried pathogens. Face masks also prevent workers from inadvertently touching their own nose or mouth with contaminated hands.
Lesson 12. Personal Safety and Hygiene Uniforms Because of potential contamination from microorganisms or toxic substances, street clothes should not be worn while working in an animal facility. Likewise, uniforms should not be worn outside the facility. Most facilities provide personnel with uniforms and uniform laundering services. These protect personnel and the environment outside the facility against contamination. Uniforms should be changed as often as necessary to maintain proper personal hygiene. Uniforms worn in areas subject to hazardous microbial agents or toxic substances should be durable enough to withstand repeated decontamination and laundering. Disposable protective clothing may be used in many such areas.
Lesson 12. Personal Safety and Hygiene Gloves Personnel should wear gloves when handling animals, cleaning solutions or any potentially harmful substances. Plastic or rubber gloves are the most common type. Cuffing the gloves prevents liquids from running down the arms. Leather gloves of various lengths are worn to handle animals that bite or scratch (Figure 10.3 in the Manual). Some gloves are reinforced with metal for protection against bites. Heat resistant gloves or mittens are used to take hot items out of autoclaves or cagewashers or to handle dry ice. People with contact skin allergies to animals should wear disposable plastic or latex gloves. There are special gloves available for people who have allergies to the latex glove itself or the powder used on some gloves.
Lesson 12. Personal Safety and Hygiene Personal Hygiene Practices Good personal hygiene practices are the first step toward the prevention of occupational injuries and diseases. People who work in animal facilities are subject to unique occupational hazards. For example: They may contract diseases from or be bitten by animals. Some people may have or develop allergies to laboratory animals. Facility personnel should follow hygiene procedures relevant to the nature of the research in which they are involved.
Lesson 12. Personal Safety and Hygiene Hygiene Guidelines Here are some typical safety and personal hygiene guidelines: Store and consume food, candy, gum and beverages only in designated areas of the facility. If you must smoke, do so only in assigned areas, away from experimental animals and from other people. Make it a habit to keep hands away from the mouth, nose, eyes, face and hair. This helps prevent self-contamination. Keep personal items, such as coats, hats, umbrellas and purses in locker rooms or other designated areas. Always wash hands before leaving the animal room or cagewashing area. Wash hands after removing dirty protective clothing and before applying makeup, smoking or eating. Do not wear jewelry if it will interfere with hand washing. Some facilities require employees to shower before entering and/or exiting the animal areas. Discuss with a supervisor any situation or equipment that you feel may jeopardize good hygiene.
Lesson 12. Personal Safety and Hygiene Occupational Health Program An occupational health program is mandatory for personnel who work with laboratory and wild caught animals. A pre-employment physical exam, medical history and appropriate vaccinations are all part of the program. Recommendations for vaccinations will vary from one facility to another, however, those usually required for employment include: Tetanus (lockjaw) is a disease caused by sporeforming bacteria which are widely distributed in the environment. Personnel who handle animals or clean up after them are exposed to these spores. Infection follows deep puncture wounds which are difficult to clean by conventional washing. Rabies is a disease caused by a virus which can occur in any mammal, including dogs, cats, cattle and humans. Personnel who handle wild animals or dogs and cats obtained from animal shelters should be inoculated with pre-exposure rabies vaccine. Hepatitis is a disease caused by a virus that infects the liver. Most cases of hepatitis acquired from laboratory animals are contracted from nonhuman primates. Personnel who work directly with primates or who are involved with cleaning primate cages are often vaccinated for hepatitis.
Lesson 12. Personal Safety and Hygiene Accidents and Illnesses Personnel must notify supervisors of any accidents, unusual illnesses or suspected health hazards. Laboratory animal facility employees are at a greater risk of wound infection and zoonotic disease transmission than people who do not work with animals. Zoonotic agents are infectious agents that can be transmitted from animals to humans or from humans to animals. For example, nonhuman primates, like humans, are susceptible to diseases such as tuberculosis (TB), measles and salmonellosis. Therefore, special precautions must be taken when handling nonhuman primates.
Lesson 12. Personal Safety and Hygiene Methods of Prevention Many other animals are also capable of transmitting zoonotic diseases. Personnel who work with nonhuman primates run a higher risk of exposure to tuberculosis (TB) than other animal handlers. All animal handlers, however, should have tuberculosis tests performed regularly (usually every 6 months) if the facility maintains nonhuman primates. Receiving proper immunizations and practicing good personal hygiene help prevent zoonotic disease transmission. Immunizations are essential in protecting personnel against diseases which may be contracted on the job.
Lesson 12. Personal Safety and Hygiene Reporting an Accident or Injury All types of injuries and accidents that occur in the animal facility must be reported to the supervisor, regardless of how insignificant the injury may seem. Anyone bitten by any animal should immediately wash the wound thoroughly with soap and water. As quickly as possible, they should notify their supervisor that they were bitten. They should report the location of the bite and the animal that bit them. Knowledge of such an accident or injury can lead to improved prevention or treatment of a zoonotic disease.
Lesson 12. Personal Safety and Hygiene Training on Hazards and Safety In addition to providing protective equipment and vaccinations, a research facility is also required to provide training of personnel in the areas of: Proper use of equipment Zoonotic diseases Blood-borne pathogens (infections usually acquired by a bite, scratch or needle stick) Other areas which can be hazardous to employees.
Lesson 13. Additional Reading Additional Reading Biosafety in Microbiological and Biomedical Laboratories. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and National Institutes of Health. 4th. Edition. US Government Printing Office (Stock number ), Washington, D.C Occupational Health and Safety in the Care and Use of Research Animals. National Research Council. National Academy Press, Washington, D.C
Animal care technicians must refer to the UT Tyler IACUC Handbook for specific guidelines and regulations regarding animal care and use.
Additional Reading Animal Welfare Act. P.L Deputy Administrator, USDA, APHIS-VS, 6505 Belcrest Rd., Hyattsville, MD Code of Federal Regulations, Titles 10, 29, 40. Office of Federal Register, Washington, D.C., Deputy Administrator, USDA, APHIS-VS, 6505 Belcrest Rd., Hyattsville, MD FDA Good Laboratory Practices for Non- Clinical Laboratory Studies. Department of Health, Education, and Welfare, Guide for the Care and Use of Laboratory Animals. National Academy Press, 1996.