Personnel at risk should be provided with dearly defined procedures for conducting their duties, should understand the hazards involved, and should be proficient in implementing the required safeguards.
Personnel should be trained regarding zoonoses, chemical safety, microbiologic and physical hazards (including those related to radiation and allergies), unusual conditions or agents that might be part of experimental procedures (including the use of genetically engineered animals and the use of human tissue in immunocompromised animals), handling of waste materials, personal hygiene, and other considerations (e.g., precautions to be taken during personnel pregnancy, illness, or decreased immunocompetence) as appropriate to the risk imposed by their workplace.
It is essential that all personnel maintain a high standard of personal cleanliness. Clothing suitable for use in the animal facility and laboratories in which animals are used should be supplied and laundered by the institution. A commercial laundering service is acceptable in many situations; however, appropriate arrangements should be made to decontaminate clothing exposed to potential hazards. Disposable gloves, masks, head covers, coats, coveralls, and shoe covers might be desirable in some circumstances. Personnel should wash their hands and change clothing as often as necessary to maintain personal hygiene. Outer garments worn in the animal rooms should not be worn outside the animal facility. Personnel should not be permitted to eat, drink, use tobacco products, or apply cosmetics in animal rooms.
Facilities required to support occupational health and safety concerns associated with animal care and use programs will vary. Because a high standard of personal cleanliness is essential, facilities and supplies for meeting this obligation should be provided. Washing and showering facilities appropriate to the program should be available. Facilities, equipment, and procedures should also be designed, selected, and developed to provide for ergonomically sound operations that reduce the potential of physical injury to personnel (such as might be caused by the lifting of heavy equipment or animals and the use of repetitive movements). Safety equipment should be properly maintained and routinely calibrated.
The selection of appropriate animal housing systems requires professional knowledge and judgment and depends on the nature of the hazards in question, the types of animals used, and the design of the experiments. Experimental animals should be housed so that potentially contaminated food and bedding, feces,