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Occupational Health & Safety

The objectives of this Occupational Health and Safety Program is to provide a safe working environment and practices to Cornell faculty, researchers and their staff, animal facility personnel, and students involved with the care and use of research animals.

AUHSP

Cornell University's Animal Users Health and Safety Program (AUHSP) is a shared responsibility among four principal units: the Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC), the Center for Animal Resources and Education (CARE) at Cornell University, Environmental Health and Safety (EH&S) and Cornell Health. The objective of the AUHSP is to identify and track persons having direct or indirect contact with animals used in research and teaching, for the purpose of evaluating the human health risks associated with that contact and taking steps to ensure that health risks for each individual are managed to an acceptable level.

People who must participate in the AUHSP include:

  • Animal care staff, CARE veterinarians, and veterinary technicians
  • People named to animal protocols (including visiting scholars, undergraduate students, etc)
  • IACUC members
  • Cornell employees having no direct contact with and no responsibilities related to animals, but who as part of their job duties work in animal housing facilities or animal procedure rooms (e.g., those working in laboratories/procedure rooms where others are using animals, custodial staff, building maintenance staff, Cornell shops personnel)
  • Outside contractors working in animal housing facilities
  • Volunteers
  • Visitors
  • Students enrolled in classes that use vertebrate animals

To enroll in the AUHSP, contact ORIA at (607) 255-6439 or send an email to auhsp-mailbox@cornell.edu.

Emergencies

If there is an animal emergency; refer to the Need Help page.

Cornell is committed to protecting the welfare of its community members as well as its intellectual property and facilities. The university strives to minimize the impacts of emergencies and maximize the effectiveness of the campus community in responding to and recovering from their inevitable occurrences. Every member of the Cornell Community has a stake in this and by working together we can be better prepared to meet the enormous challenges that emergencies bring. Please refer to the Cornell Emergency Plan.

Training

The Cornell EH&S provides assistance with health and safety information and training in various areas; please refer to the EH&S web site. CARE also sponsors educational programs; please refer to the CARE Education web site for more information.

Hazards

The AUHSP Working Group meets monthly to evaluate protocols and amendments, inspects facilities, monitors incidents of animal diseases, reviews risk assessment forms, and is a resource for training for occupational health and safety issues. Potential hazards associated with animal care and use include:

  • Animal bites, kicks, and scratches
  • Sharps
  • Chemical and radiological hazards
  • Noise
  • Zoonotic agents

People with allergies or special health concerns may be at increased risk from potential hazards in animal facilities. Refer to the CARE Identifying Hazards web page for more information.

Risk Management

Zoonoses

Although infrequent, the risk of infection between research animals and humans does exist and must be recognized in order to avoid exposure. Refer to the CARE Zoonoses web page for more information.