Animal Care Occupational Health and Safety Program

The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley (UTRGV) is committed to providing a safe and productive working environment for all personnel. for all individuals working within its animal facilities who are involved in the direct care of vertebrate animals and their living quarters, as well as those individuals who have direct contact with animals. Their viable participation in the Occupational Health and Safety Program (OHSP) is based on having contact with live vertebrates and potential exposure to hazardous chemical, biological or radioactive agents. The OHSP is jointly managed by the Environmental Health, Safety & Risk Management (EHSRM) and the UTRGV Animal Care Program. The OHSP is applicable to the following personnel:

  • Full-time, part-time, temporary personnel (including students) involved in animal care in UTRGV buildings that house animals for research and teaching.
  • Research investigators and their technical/research staff (includes post-docs, graduate students and undergraduate students).
  • Instructors involved with animal related work.
  • Other UTRGV personnel who may reasonably be expected to come in contact with vertebrate animals, their viable tissues, body fluids or wastes (some personnel in facilities management, security, custodial services).

The EHSRM identifies and notifies those personnel listed on animal use protocols that are required to participate in the OHSP.

UTRGV Program Documents

Relevant Forms

Training

Animal Research - Occupational Health and Safety (OHS) - General: This training is mandated for all persons involved in research or teaching related activities involving vertebrate animals. Animal contact is defined as contact with animals or animal tissues. Personnel included are those involved in the direct care of animals and their housing quarters as well as those individuals who have direct contact with animals (live or dead). Training is provided on an as needed basis and is available online via Blackboard.

Animal Research - Biological Safety Training: This training is additional to the Animal Occupational Health Safety Training General and is mandated for all persons involved in animal research or teaching related activities that involve the introduction of BSL-2 agents in animals or work with animals that are inherently infectious. Personnel included are those involved in the direct care of animals and their housing quarters as well as those individuals who have direct contact with animals (live or dead). Training is provided on an as needed basis. Training is in person only.

Program Staff

Dr. Richard Costello
Director - Environmental Health, Safety and Risk Mgmt.
EEHSB 1.110
956-665-2903
Richard.Costello@utrgv.edu

Cordelia Rasa
Director - Animal Care Program
Life Sciences
EREBL 1.400.2
956-665-6436
Cordelia.Rasa@utrgv.edu

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