Management and Reporting
Any animal-related injury that may be serious should be handled by the usual emergency medical care system. Apply the appropriate first aid, and if severe take the injured person to a hospital emergency department as soon as possible.
Any minor injuries or incidents (e.g., a laboratory mouse or rat bite) should be handled by the appropriate first aid, and documented. The First Aid Procedure (OHS-4.6.3) can be found at the Office of Health & Safety. The University of Windsor has a procedure for documenting all injuries, including minor ones, in case complications develop later. The mechanism is as simple as filing an incident report form from Health & Safety, as is the procedure for Incident/Accident reporting (OHS-5.2.2) Once completed the form needs to be submitted to the Animal Care Technician and forwarded on to the Co-Coordinator and Chair of the ACC.
Safe Waste Disposal Practices in Animal Facilities
Work in animal facilities commonly involves use of sharp instruments. All sharp items (e.g., needles, scalpels, capillary tubes, etc.) must be handled safely, and placed in designated sharps containers for disposal as per university policy. Needles should never be re-used.
Animal Waste Disposal
All animals, animal wastes and related materials should be disposed of as per university policy. Institutions commonly have a protocol defining proper disposal of all animal carcasses or organs. (see ACC Handbook and appropriate SOP posted in the animal holding rooms).
Biological Hazards of Working with Experimental Animals
Guidelines for working with biohazards (e.g., bacteria, viruses, parasites, fungi and other infectious agents), are provided in the Health and Welfare Canada/Medical Research Council Laboratory Biosafety Guidelines (HWC/MRC, 1990). The guidelines include such items as biohazard containment, laboratory design, personal hygiene and safety facilities, and can be used to provide training for employees as mandated by WHMIS.
The biosafety guidelines apply to all research carried out or supported by the federal government and have been adopted by many industries. Personal cleanliness is an important barrier to infection and washing of hands after handling any animal will reduce the risk of disease spread and self-infection. All employees working with animals, as well as visitors to the facility, should wear protective clothing, minimally a lab coat.
All contaminated material must be decontaminated before disposal. Necropsy of animals infected with highly infectious agents should be carried out in certified and tested biological safety cabinets. Necropsy material for disposal should be sealed in plastic bags, properly labeled and incinerated.