7.3.3 Safety Equipment

  • Properly maintained biological safety cabinets and other physical containment devices or equipment, should be used for all manipulations of infectious materials and when possible, animals.  These manipulations include necropsy, harvesting of tissues or fluids from infected animals or eggs, and intranasal inoculation of animals.
  • The risk of infectious aerosols from infected animals or bedding can be reduced through the use of primary barrier systems.  These systems may include solid wall and bottom cages covered with filter bonnets; ventilated cage rack systems; or for larger cages placed in inward flow ventilated enclosures or other equivalent systems or devices. 
  • A risk assessment should determine the appropriate type of personal protective equipment to be utilized.  Protective clothing such as scrub suits or uniforms is worn by personnel within the animal facility.  Reusable clothing is appropriately contained and decontaminated before being laundered.  Laboratory and protective clothing should never be taken home.  Disposable personal protective equipment such as non-woven olefin cover-all suits, wrap-around or solid-front gowns should be worn over this clothing, before entering the areas where infectious materials and/or animals are housed or manipulated.  Front-button laboratory coats are unsuitable.
  • Disposable personal protective equipment must be removed when leaving the areas where infectious materials and/or animals are housed or are manipulated.  Scrub suits and uniforms are removed before leaving the animal facility.  Disposable personal protective equipment and other contaminated waste are appropriately contained and decontaminated prior to disposal.
  • Appropriate eye, face and respiratory protection are worn by all personnel entering areas where infectious materials and/or animals are housed or are manipulated.  To prevent cross contamination boots, shoe covers, or other protective footwear, are used where indicated.  
  • Eye and face protection must be disposed of with other contaminated laboratory waste or decontaminated before reuse.  Persons who wear contact lenses should also wear eye protection when entering areas with potentially high concentrations or airborne particulates.
  • Gloves should be worn to protect hands from exposure to hazardous materials.  A risk assessment should be performed to identify the appropriate glove for the task and alternatives to latex gloves should be available. Procedures may require the use of wearing two pairs of gloves (double-glove).  Gloves are changed when contaminated, integrity has been compromised, or when otherwise necessary.  Gloves must not be worn outside of the animal rooms.
  • Gloves and personal protective equipment should be removed in a manner that prohibits transfer of infectious materials. Do not wash or reuse disposable gloves.  Dispose of used gloves with other contaminated waste.
  • Persons must wash their hands after handling animals and before leaving the areas where infectious materials and/or animals are housed or are manipulated.  Hand washing should occur after the removal of gloves.