Research Safety

Animal Safety

Medical Surveillance

Faculty, staff, and students must be enrolled in the Animal Handler Medical Surveillance Program if there is:

  • Direct contact with animals;
  • Direct contact with non-sanitized animal caging or enclosures;
  • Direct contact with non-fixed or non-sterilized animal tissues, fluids, or wastes;
  • Contact with animal equipment, devices, or facilities, for repairs or maintenance.

The Medical Surveillance Questionnaire must be completed upon initial work assignment, and whenever there is a change in personal medical conditions, work tasks or species. Submit online or print and fax as noted on bottom of the form.

The completed Questionnaire will provide medical personnel with information about your work with research animals and the potential for allergies to occur. In addition, there are other risks associate with animal contact.

The following links provide species specific information and potential zoonotic diseases related to work with those species.

Review species pertinent to your work activities

Special Health Concern Fact Sheets

Bite/Scratch Information

Additional Information
Initial enrollment into the Animal Handler Medical Surveillance Program will occur through submission and review of the eRam Application to UCUCA. Personnel working on protocols must complete and submit the Medical Surveillance Questionnaire, as noted. Employees not working on a protocol (e.g., animal care staff, maintenance personnel, etc.) will be enrolled by their department.

Once enrolled, employees will receive annual reminders to update their Questionnaire, if personal medical conditions, work tasks or species have changed. The reminders will also include information regarding access to medical care for a work-related injury or illness.

Questionnaires are reviewed by the University’s Occupational Health Services (OHS) clinic staff. If the clinicians deem it necessary, employees may be contacted to schedule a clinic visit. Exposure risks that may result in a clinic visit are based on the functional requirements of the position, the type and species of animal contact, and the employee’s medical history.

When an employee fails to return their questionnaire or fails to report to OHS for a scheduled appointment, notification will be made to the individual and their PI/supervisor with the intention of immediate correction. The PI/supervisor is responsible for ensuring corrections have been promptly corrected. If this fails to occur, the UCUCA will be notified and animal use and laboratory access will be suspended.

The OHS occupational health professionals in consultation with OSEH will determine the individual need and frequency of the following testing:

  • Allergy/asthma tests
  • Hearing test
  • MMR booster
  • Rabies booster
  • Respirator fit testing
  • Respiratory function test
  • Tetanus booster
  • Tuberculin skin test

Women who know or suspect they are pregnant must take special precautions when working with animals. There are certain pathogens that pose a serious health risk to the fetus and can cause birth defects. If you know or suspect you are pregnant, you can contact OSEH concerning additional information and a possible consultation with an OHS clinician.