Developing a comprehensive animal care occupational health and safety program at a land-grant institution

Lyndon J. Goodly, Vickie L. Jarrell, Monica A. Miller, Maureen C. Banks, Thomas J. Anderson, Katherine A. Branson, Robert T. Woodward, Randall L. Peper, Sara J. Myers

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The Public Health Service Policy on the Humane Care and Use of Laboratory Animals and sound ethical practices require institutions to provide safe working environments for personnel working with animals; this mandate is achieved in part by establishing an effective animal care Occupational Health and Safety Program (OHSP). Land-grant institutions often face unique organizational challenges in fulfilling this requirement. For example, responsibilities for proviDing health and safety programs often have historically been dispersed among many different divisions scattered around the campus. Here we describe how our institutional management personnel overcame organizational structure and cultural obstacles during the formation of a comprehensive campus-wide animal care OHSP. Steps toward establishing the animal care OHSP included assigning overall responsibility, identifying all stakeholders, creating a leadership group, and hiring a fulltime Animal Care OHSP Specialist. A web-based portal was developed, implemented, and refined over the past 7 y and reflected the unique organizational structures of the university and the needs of our research community. Through this web-based portal, hazards are identified, risks are assessed, and training is provided. The animal care OHSP now provides easy mandatory enrollment, supports timely feedback regarDing hazards, and affords enrollees the opportunity to participate in voluntary medical surveillance. The future direction and development of the animal care OHSP will be based on the research trends of campus, identification of emerging health and safety hazards, and ongoing evaluation and refinement of the program.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)50-57
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of the American Association for Laboratory Animal Science
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2016

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Animal Science and Zoology


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