Occupational Health and Safety in the Care and Use of Animals




The Public Health Service Office of Laboratory Animal Welfare (OLAW) requires the university to implement an occupational health and safety program for faculty, staff, and students (“personnel”) who work in laboratory animal facilities or who have frequent contact with animals. To comply with this mandate and to promote a safe and healthy work environment at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Research and Innovation has established a mandatory Animal Care and Use Occupational Health and Safety Program for all personnel having direct or indirect contact with laboratory animals. This program is based upon the “Guide for the Care and Use of Laboratory Animals” and is intended to eliminate, reduce, or control hazards and prevent adverse health effects due to animal use by identifying risks, implementing safety controls, and providing training.


Personnel who work with or have direct or indirect contact with laboratory animals must participate in the Animal Care and Use Occupational Health and Safety Program. Personnel with frequent or substantial contact have a higher potential of adverse health effects and must participate in all components of the Program (1. Risk Assessment, 2. Health Screening Questionnaire, and 3. OHS Training that includes 4. Animal Allergy Training). Other personnel with less contact may have modified requirements, depending on the risk for adverse health effects.

Personnel Exposure Risk Assessment Form Health Screening Questionnaire OHS Training Module Animal Allergy Training
Faculty, staff, and students working with animals or in animal facilities Required Required Required Required*
University staff who need occasional access to animal facilities but not working with animals Required Determined by risk Determined by risk Determined by risk

*Animal Allergy Training is required for personnel listed on animal use protocols unless their only exposure to animals is in wildlife studies, or involves only reptiles, amphibians, or fish. The online protocol system automatically sets the exemptions.


Enrollment in the program consists of the following:

  1. Completing the Animal Care and Use Risk Assessment form which indicates the species, the level of exposure, and facilities for animal use. OHS Program staff will use this information to identify appropriate personal protective equipment and training and determine whether enrollment in additional campus health and safety programs is required.
  2. Completing the Health Screening Questionnaire which is evaluated confidentially by a health professional.
  3. Completing the basic OHS Training module which describes common risks to health and safety in animal facilities.
  4. Completing the Animal Allergies Training module which describes the specific risks and symptoms of developing allergies to animals and how to mitigate those risks.
  5. OHS staff will determine whether personnel who need to enter facilities briefly as part of their jobs, but who are not working with animals, are exempt from requirements.


Approved Date

Revised Date