Animal Research Exposure

All UCF faculty, staff, students, volunteers, visiting researchers, maintenance personnel or any other person with exposure to animal work or casual exposures in UCF facilities, including all UCF leased spaces and UCF affiliated field research are to be enrolled in the UCF Animal Exposure Program (AEP).

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) require that each university receiving federal support for research involving vertebrate animals have a Medical Monitoring Program for personnel with
animal contact. Following the guidelines of the NIH and the National Research Council (NRC) publication, Occupational Health, and Safety in the Care and Use of Research Animals, the
University of Central Florida (UCF) has developed the Animal Exposure Program (AEP).

Program requirements are based upon those outlined in the Public Health Services document, Guide for the Care and Use of Laboratory Animals and, as well as the recommendations of the Association for Assessment and Accreditation of Laboratory Animal Care (AAALAC). The Division of Environmental Health and Safety (EHS) oversees the Animal Exposure Program. Centra Care is the medical provider for the program and maintains the medical records.


Who should enroll?

Tier I Personnel:

  • All faculty, staff, students, and researchers performing research that involves exposure to vertebrate animals.
  • All staff and students that may be exposed to animals in laboratories, animal facilities, and field research are required to enroll.
  • Anyone handling unfixed animal tissues or body fluids, including animal waste.
  • Anyone listed on an Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC) protocol.
  • Anyone that is exposed to animals in the laboratory, including those individuals not handling animals.
  • Anyone who accesses animal facilities (vivarium).
  • Anyone working in Animal Biosafety Level 3 areas.

Requirements:

  1. Medical Questionnaire
    • Personnel complete and sign the Medical Questionnaire and authorization form and then submit it directly to the Occupational Health Physician at Centra Care by
      faxing the form to 407-200-9231 or via encrypted email to andrea.flanagan@flhosp.org. To obtain instructions on how to send encrypted documents, please visit Animal Exposure Webpage and contact Don Sibley at 407-823-1526 to obtain the password to the encrypted document. The Occupational Health Physician will review the Medical Questionnaire and
      provide an Occupational Health Clearance Form. In the event the Physician is requiring further examination, immunization, testing, and/or evaluation, employees will be asked to go to make an appointment with Centra Care for further evaluation. Employees will be paid for the time required for the appointment(s) and reasonable travel to and from the appointment.
      Note: For field research faculty, the Field Research Safety Plan will also need to be completed and signed by the appropriate Department Chair.
  2. EHS 180 online training: Animal Exposure in a Research Setting (every 3 years) available at the EHSA log-in site.

EHS verifies that all personnel listed on new and continuing animal use protocols are included in
AEP.

It is the responsibility of the Principal Investigator to ensure that all individuals listed on their IACUC protocol or working under their supervision participate in the program, including
employees, students, colleagues, collaborators, and volunteers that will be exposed. Enrollees shall not incur any costs or fees as part of their enrollment in AEP. This requirement must be
addressed. Failure to enroll in AEP may result in the delay of approval for new or renewal protocol submissions as well as significant changes to existing protocols. If the Committee determines
that an individual working in an animal research area is not enrolled in AEP, the protocol or individuals may be suspended from animal work until such time as enrollment has been
completed.

Tier II: No Medical Questionnaire Required:

Visitors entering animal facilities or vivarium to perform maintenance/repairs or observe research are not required to participate in the Animal Exposure Program provided all the
following are met:

  • Visits are 5 days or less within a 30-day period
  • Additional requirements which may be required according to facility rules and Standard Operating Procedures

Requirements:

  • Read the Animal Exposure Program
  • Complete the Animal Exposure in a Research Setting online training (every 3 years)
  • Be advised that some persons are at increased risk from animal-associated disease:
    • Women who are pregnant or planning to become pregnant
    • Immune compromised persons
    • Individuals with known animal allergies should contact the Occupational Physician

FAQs

The PI/supervisor of the lab worker is responsible for completing page 5 of the enrollment packet.

Principal Investigators, Supervisors or Designated Contact Person must:

  • Identify eligible participants and ensure their enrollment in the AEP
  • Complete and sign the Centra Care Authorization Form
  • Inform the AEP Program Coordinator of new individuals who may be exposed to animals and provide notification for those who are about to terminate his or her association with the PI or supervisor, or ceases animal contact Ensure personnel shall not begin work with animals or be occupationally exposed to animals until they have been cleared through the AEP and completed any required annual training.

EHS highly recommends everyone to read the Animal Exposure Program Manual so that they understand their responsibilities.

The PI must:

  • Write the personnel name on the top of the form
  • Select “Medical Surveillance AEP (24501094)”
  • Select “Animal Worker Medical Directorship questionnaire review” under EXAMS
  • Sign on the bottom where is says “Supervisor” and date

Centra Care will not accept the medical questionnaire without a completed Centra Care Authorization Form.

The PI serves as the authorizer to pay for the services on behalf of the university.

The NIH Policy statement states the following: Recipients are responsible for meeting applicable Federal, State, and local health and safety standards and for establishing and implementing necessary measures to minimize their employees’ risk of injury or illness in activities related to NIH grants. In addition to applicable Federal, State, and local laws and regulations, the following regulations must be followed when developing and implementing health and safety operating procedures and practices for both personnel and facilities:

NIH requires compliance with OSHA and OSHA requires a medical surveillance program for employees working in hazardous environments.

Questions or concerns about AEP or the broader Medical Surveillance Program at UCF can be addressed directly with the AEP Program Coordinator, Don Sibley at (407) 823-1526.

Any personal information provided as part of enrollment in the program is kept strictly confidential between enrollees and physicians at Centra Care in accordance with applicable laws and regulations (e.g., HIPAA).

It is estimated that as many as one-in-three individuals working with animals in a laboratory setting will develop an allergy to animal proteins. An allergy can present as a “stuffy” or “runny” nose, irritated eyes, coughing, wheezing, or shortness of breath. Most workers who develop allergic reactions to animals will do so within the first year of working with them. Infrequently, reactions may occur only after working with animals for years.

There are three (3) options to enroll in the AEP:

  1. Via a secured fax number sent directly to the Occupational Health Physician
  2. Via email through encryption of the required documents
  3. By bringing the completed forms to one of the Centra Care locations mentioned in the AEP Enrollment Checklist. If additional services other than submittal of the AEP
    documents are marked in the Centra Care Authorization Form, it is highly recommended to call and make an appointment.

No, tetanus vaccination is recommended but not required to be administered to all animal users at ten-year intervals.

There are three (3) forms that must be completed to enroll in the program:

  1. Animal Exposure Program Enrollment Checklist
  2. Centra Care Authorization Form
  3. Animal Exposure Program Medical Questionnaire (AEPMQ)

Note: A copy of identification (ID) is required along with the submission of the forms above.

To inform personnel of relevant health and safety information related to contact and expose to animals.

If visits to a laboratory or animal facility are 5 days or less within a 30-day period, you must read the Animal Exposure Program Manual, and complete the Animal Exposure in a Research Setting online training (every 3 years), but a medical questionnaire is not required.

Individuals are required to enroll before contact or exposure with animals occurs. Moreover, enrollees are required to re-enroll in the AEP when there is a change in personal health status
or job duties or animal species in research, such as whenever a participant works with a different species in the future (or taxonomic group for wildlife studies).

To enroll in AEP, please refer to the Animal Exposure Enrollment Packet by clicking here.

All UCF faculty, staff, students, volunteers, visiting researchers, maintenance personnel, or any other person conducting animal work or having casual exposures in UCF facilities, including all UCF, leased spaces and UCF affiliated field research must enroll in the Animal Exposure Program (AEP). Personnel shall also enroll initially when listed on an IACUC protocol.

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) requires that institutions receiving federal support for research involving vertebrate animals have a Medical Monitoring Program for personnel with animal contact or exposure.