The use of protective clothing and safety devices is mandated when working with laboratory animals. The required PPE for each circumstance is based on an EHS risk assessment that takes into account the type and quantity of hazardous materials present, engineering control measures in place, and administrative controls to reduce exposure.
Animal handlers, for consistent approach, should reference information provided in PPE for Animal Handlers for minimal levels of protection. PPE may be upgraded or downgraded based on risk assessment of activities and hazards present, if warranted. Any changes in required PPE need to be assessed in conjunction with EHS and posted in the area of work. In addition, EHS representatives are available to assist with the proper selection of equipment and training for staff, but the primary responsibility for training staff on the appropriate use of PPE is the responsibility of the principal investigator or area supervisor. It is the responsibility of all personnel entering an area to understand the PPE required for the work, to note any change in the equipment required and make proper use of it.
Personnel with specific exposure to hazardous substances, as determined by EHS in consultation with OHS, may have a mandatory requirement to wear a respirator. Personnel that have developed allergies to animals, as determined by OHS, may also have a mandatory requirement to wear a respirator. Areas or operations that require the mandatory use of a respirator will be posted. Staff will be fit tested for the appropriate respirator and will be entered into the EHS Respiratory Protection Program. These required uses of respiratory protection supersede the minimum PPE requirements as posted for an area. A surgical mask is not considered a respirator requiring entry into the EHS respiratory protection program.
Personnel that work in laboratory areas may also be required to wear additional PPE as required based on hazards present in the lab. Refer to the door sign posted for the lab for requirements.
Concerns regarding the use of PPE in animal activities are to be reported to the Animal Care and Use Office (ACUO), Environment, Health & Safety (EHS), Institutional Official, or through either the University of Michigan Animal Care and Use Hotline (1-734-763-8028) or the Compliance Hotline (1-866-990-0111). All reports of concern are resolved in a timely manner through an anonymous investigation by the IACUC, EHS, or any other relevant unit.