TABLE 4-1 Summary of Physical Hazards

Hazard Type and Operation

Precautionary Measures

Animal bites and scratches. Animal handling, husbandry

Tranquilize, anesthetize, train, or restrain animals to prevent bite and scratch injuries; use heavy leather or Kevlar® gloves and arm covers; remain at safe working distance from animals; clean all wounds immediately, obtain medical attention

Needle and other wounds from sharp objects. Surgical procedures, phlebotomy, injections

Use safe needle systems when possible; do not recap needles; dispose of contaminated sharp devices in rigid waste container for disposal; clean wound site immediately, obtain medical attention

Slips, trips, and falls. Work in animal housing, cage-wash, other areas

Maintain good housekeeping, remove objects that could cause tripping and liquid or oily slip hazards; use slip-resistant footwear, flooring; maintain all stairs and elevated work platforms in good condition; use carts or dollies to transport animals or heavy objects; plan work so that heavy loads are not carried

Overexertion and repetitive strain injuries. Performing animal, cage, material handling

Do not exceed heavy-lift limits; design equipment and tasks to avoid awkward postures and motions and high repetitions; seek medical attention if early signs of musculoskeletal injury persist

Traumatic crushing and laceration hand injuries. Moving cages, other heavy objects

Mobile cage and cart handles should be located so as not to expose hands. Crushing injuries from door frames, other adjacent objects; use two persons for moving heavy-wheeled equipment

noninfectious hazards should also involve a qualified health and safety professional with training in ergonomic hazards.


Bites and Scratches

Work with nonhuman primates exposes personnel to bite and scratch wounds that not only present zoonotic disease concerns but also can require general medical care, such as suturing and traditional wound management. A wound to the hand may preclude an injured worker from normal occupational activities to allow the wound to heal. Treatment of these wounds is discussed in greater detail in Chapter 9. Prevention of such injuries, which includes cage design, animal handling techniques

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