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Laboratory Safety Working with Small Animals Cheat Sheet (DRAFT) by [deleted]

Laboratory Safety Working with Small Animals

This is a draft cheat sheet. It is a work in progress and is not finished yet.


All procedures on animals should be performed by properly trained personnel. By using safe work practices and approp­riate personal protective equipment (29 CFR Part 1910 Subpart I), workers can minimize the likelihood that they will be bitten, scratched, and/or exposed to animal body fluids and tissues.

Use Safe Work Practices

Avoid eating, drinking, smoking, handling contact lenses,
applying cosmetics, or taking or applying medicine.
Avoid touching your mouth, nose and eyes.
Avoid using sharps whenever possible. Be extremely careful when using a needle and syringe or when using sharps during necropsy (autopsy) proced­ures. Never remove, recap, bend, break, or clip used needles from disposable syringes. Use safe needles whenever possible.
Never use your mouth to pipette liquids; only use mechanical pipetting devices.
Keep doors to rooms holding research animals closed.
Perform procedures carefully to reduce the possib­ility of
creating splashes or aerosols.
Restrict operations that generate hazardous aerosols to
biological safety cabinets or other ventilated enclos­ures, such as animal bedding dump stations.
Clean up all spills immedi­ately.
Promptly decont­aminate work surfaces when procedures are completed and after surfaces are soiled by spills of animal material or waste.
Properly dispose of animal waste and bedding.
Remove gloves and wash your hands after handling
animals or animal tissues and before leaving areas where animals are kept.
Report all incidents and equipment malfun­ctions to your

Laboratory Safety

Wear Approp­riate Personal Protective Equipment

Wear all required PPE identified by your employer based on the activity performed.
Wear gloves designed to resist puncture from animal bites.
Wear eye protec­tion. This will not only protect your eyes
from potential scratches, but also will protect them from direct contam­ination by animal secretions or indirect contam­ination from materials contam­inated with animal secret­ions.
Wear head/hair covering to protect against accidental sprays or splashes.
Wear respir­atory protec­tion, if required. NIOSH-­cer­tified respir­ators that are properly selected and fitted will protect you from small particle aerosols.