Safety & Injuries

Animal safety training

All principal investigators, research staff, animal care staff, veterinarians, students, and other personnel needing access to animal facilities must enroll in the Occupational Health and Safety for Individuals with Animal Exposures Program.

In this program, you will learn to identify hazards, assess risks, and eliminate or manage those risks in any study involving direct contact with animals, animal tissues, or animal by-products.

You must also complete required animal care and use training. Training requirements are different for Bloomington and Indianapolis campuses.

For life-threatening or immobilizing injuries, call 911.

Pregnancy and lab animals

Certain pathogens pose a serious health risk to fetuses and can cause birth defects. If you know or suspect you are pregnant, you must take special precautions when working with animals. Update your medical questionnaire for more information.

Basic animal care procedures

  • Hand washing stations are provided near all animal research and animal holding facilities.
  • Suitable work clothing is provided and laundered by a commercial service. Whenever necessary, disposable gloves, masks, face shields, coveralls, foot covers, and head covers are provided.
  • Eating, drinking, and the use of cosmetics and tobacco are strictly forbidden in all labs and animal holding facilities.
  • Human food used for animals is clearly marked “For Animal Use Only” and not allowed for human consumption.
  • Cage washing facilities allow for the safe movement and washing of heavy materials.
  • Dirty bedding is be emptied in HEPA-filtered dump stations designed for that purpose.
  • All equipment, facilities, and surfaces are disinfected regularly.
  • Potentially infectious or biohazardous waste is sterilized in autoclaves and disposed of as sanitary waste or shipped as medical waste for incineration.
  • Deceased animals are frozen and shipped for proper disposal. Liquid biological waste is chemically disinfected and disposed of as sanitary waste.