Animal Care Facilities

Medical Requirements and Emergency Procedures

Good animal care and occupational health and safety practices are generally sufficient to protect the health of employees and students working with animals. All employees and students working with laboratory animals must follow the following guidelines.

Medical Surveillance

All employees and students working with animals must:

  • have a Tuberculin Skin Test on file at the Health Center, and
  • have received a Tetanus immunization within the past 10 years.

Any history of allergic reactions to laboratory animals or pets should be discussed with your Health Care Provider prior to beginning work with laboratory animals.

Personal Hygiene and Work Practices

  • keep hands away from mouth, nose and eyes
  • use caution when using sharps and dispose of sharps immediately into a sharps container
  • wear protective clothing and gloves and leave clothing in the facility
  • wash hands after removing gloves and when leaving the facility
  • do not eat, drink, or handle contact lenses in areas where animals are kept
  • wear eye protection if a procedure could result in splashing

Emergency Procedures

In the event of an injury such as a bite, scratch or cut, rinse the area thoroughly with soap and water.

If contaminated material enters the eye, flush the eye for at least 15 minutes and report to Health Services (ext. 2242). If symptoms of an allergic reaction are noticed, leave the area immediately and report to Health Services.

When Health Services is closed, students should contact Fast Track at Cooley Dickinson Hospital (582-2990, 10 am - 9 pm) for advice and/or an appointment. If they are not open, contact the Cooley Dickinson Emergency Room (528-2108) or Holyoke Hospital Emergency Room (534-2500). Employees should contact the Work Connection at Holyoke Hospital (534-2546) or, when they are not open, the Holyoke Hospital Emergency Room (534-2500).

Reporting Illnesses and Injuries

Any illness (e.g., allergic reaction) or injuries (e.g., bites, cuts) must be reported to your

  • Immediate Supervisor or Faculty Advisor
  • Deborah Piotrowski, Chair, Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee at ext. 2139.

Employees must also report the incident to Human Resources at ext. 2503 and will be sent reporting forms. For student incidents, students and their supervisor must fill out a “First Report of Accident”. The form is also available from the Biology Department Office and in the Science Center Safety Handbook. Return employee reports to Human Resources. Return student reports to the Office of Environmental Health & Safety.