The requirements for an occupational health program for personnel working with laboratory animals are found in a variety of sources such as the Guide for the Care and Use of Laboratory Animals (2011) and the Public Health Service Policy on Humane Care and Use of Laboratory Animals. In addition, this program follows guidance and requirements for promoting occupational safety on campus under UMBCs Policy on Environmental Safety and Health Management and Enforcement

As such, the UMBC  Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC) has created, in conjunction with Environmental Safety and Health and the Office for Research Protections and Compliance, an occupational health and safety program with the primary purpose of educating and promoting safe practices and personnel safety as well as preventing occupational injury and illness.

Who is covered in this program:

Every individual (animal care personnel) who will conduct procedures as well as daily care and maintenance involving animals are covered by this program. These include:

Animal care personnel working with animals should be aware of the potential dangers associated with animal contact. These include but are not limited to: animal bites, scratches, and kicks; allergens; pathogenic organisms; and parasites.  Many simple steps can be taken to lessen the risk of working with animals. Use good personal hygiene: wash hands after animal contact and before leaving the animal facility; do not eat, drink, smoke, handle contact lenses, or apply cosmetics in work areas and wash hands before engaging in these activities. Wear personal protective equipment (PPE), including gloves, disposable gowns, as required or recommended.

Follow these steps:


The UMBC IACUC will withhold approval of animal research protocols until the above steps are followed and documented.

In addition to above occupational safety education program, you or your supervisor may complete laboratory or animal protocol specific on-line training options specific to animal work functions. Current one-line training options are provided by Environmental Safety and Health and the Office for Research Protections and Compliance. The University of Maryland Family Medicine Associates also offers general in-service program on risk topics including bloodborne pathogens, animal allergens/bites, hazardous materials/chemical exposure radiation exposure) and acute injuries. When available, please check the current schedule is found at

If you have health/safety concerns, you are urged to talk to your supervisor immediately or contact the Environmental Safety and Health or the Office for Research Protections and Compliance listed below for advice and assistance.

Reporting Incidents, Injuries, and/or Hazardous Exposure

Any occupational injury, hazardous exposure, or other safety incident should be reported in accordance procedures found on the Environmental Safety and Health website.

For more information contact:

Environmental Safety and Health 

Office for Research Protections and Compliance 

Also, please review these sources for more information about occupational safety and health:

last update 08/01/2013

return ORPC page