Environmental, Health and Safety Services

Responsibilities

Environmental, Health and Safety Services (EHSS)

  • Coordinates the Occupational Safety and Health Program for Animal Handlers at Virginia Tech;
  • Provides or coordinates all medical monitoring and medical services for covered employees;
  • Maintains records according to OSHA requirements; and,
  • Provides exposure monitoring, evaluations and medical services needed by animal handlers based on their work-related exposures.

Principal Investigators/Lab Supervisors

  • Read this Occupational Health and Safety Program for Animal Handlers. Contact EHSS or the Office of Research Compliance with any questions about this program.
  • Maintain this document readily available in your laboratory and the laboratories of any second investigators and make its contents available to all animal handlers working in those labs and for biannual IACUC laboratory inspections.
  • Make sure all animal handlers working in your laboratory and the laboratories of any second investigators working under your protocol read this document.
  • Complete the Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) Hazard Assessment form.
  • Complete the Medical Survey Questionnaire. The purpose of this questionnaire is to obtain an individual health history for employees working with animals and/or potentially infectious material, including toxins of biological origin, unfixed tissue and microorganisms. It will be used in conjunction with individual protocol risk assessments to evaluate appropriate medical services needed and to determine appropriate individual personal protective equipment (PPE) needs. If you need a hard copy of this form, please contact EHSS at 231-4034 for assistance. Once the questionnaire has been reviewed by EHSS and the Occupational Health Physician, you will be notified about the recommendations for any testing or vaccinations to ensure your safety at work
  • Train animal handlers on the signs and symptoms related to the infectious disease work you are doing or the zoonotic diseases that could potentially be transmitted by the species of animals that employees are working with. Notify EHSS if any employees report any suspicious signs and symptoms.
  • Complete the Notice of Understanding and Compliance with the Occupational Health and Safety Program For Animal Handlers. This notice should be kept in the Occupational Health and Safety for Animal Handlers manual at the research site for biannual IACUC laboratory inspections.
  • When you see your primary care physician (PCP) or other medical care provider for any illness always let him/her know about your work with animals and/or infectious organisms.

Animal Handlers and Technicians

  • Read this Occupational Health and Safety Program for Animal Handlers. Contact EHSS or the Office of Research Compliance with any questions about this program.
  • Complete the Medical Survey Questionnaire. If you need a hard copy of this form, please contact EHSS at 231-4034 for assistance. Once the questionnaire has been reviewed by EHSS and the Occupational Health Physician, you will be notified about recommendations for any testing or vaccinations to ensure your safety at work.
  • Know the signs and symptoms related to the infectious disease work you are doing or the zoonotic diseases that could potentially be transmitted by the species of animals with which you work. Report any suspicious signs and symptoms to your PI or supervisor whether or not you recall an exposure incident.
  • When you see your primary care physician (PCP) or other medical care provider for any illness always let him/her know about your work with animals and/or infectious organisms.