OHSP Clearance Categories

Animal use privileges are dependent upon the level of program certification. Participants are organized into categories which reflect the specific surveillance needs of the employees based on real or potential occupational exposure to specific species of animals.

Our use categories are:

Category Type of Contact

Category 1 Small animals including rodents, rabbits, pigs, cats and dogs*

Category 2 Large animals including sheep and goats

Category 3 Non-human primates

* Includes support staff, facilities management maintenance staff, security staff, visiting personnel (no direct animal contact expected in the routine performance of duty; risk through environmental exposure)

Basic Occupational Health Care (BOHC) 

All participants: 

Occupational health questionnaire: Completed by the patient and reviewed by a physician or occupational health nurse practitioner to assess risk. 

Physical examination or other diagnostic testing: Based on review of Confidential Health History Questionnaire. Only conducted if medical personnel indicates necessity. The components of the physical examination will be based on the functional requirements of the position, the type of animal contact, and the individual's prior medical history. 

Education: Topics presented as employee information. Includes, but not limited to: 

  • Program function and coverage descriptions,
  • Important zoonoses of laboratory animals including animal allergy,
  • Points of contact for additional information,
  • A review of institutional policy on Occupational Health,
  • Provision of informational handouts on topical matters. 

Serum Storage: The physician will assess if program participants should submit a serum sample for storage based on risk assessment. 

Immunizations: All participants will have the following vaccinations documented:

  • Tetanus Prophylaxis
  • Hepatitis B (as required)
  • Rabies/ Measles (as required) 

Assessment of Physical Conditioning: 

  • Lifting (as required) 
  • Auditory (as required)
  • Protection from exposure to radiation, chemical and biohazards: Proposals to use radioactive, chemical or biological hazards in animals are addressed individually by appropriate safety committees and are reviewed by the IACUC. 

Category 1 Participants 

BOHC plus attention to the specific concern of allergies:

  • Employees at risk for developing work related allergies include those with a history of pre-existing allergies, asthma, seasonal rhinitis or eczema. 
  • Participants with suspected allergies will be encouraged to seek evaluation by health treatment personnel. Allergy testing may be requested as a part of the risk assessment. 

Category 2 Participants (Sheep/Goat Contact) 

BOHC plus attention to the following specific concerns: 

  • Personnel who will have contact with Sheep and Goats will be assessed for their risk relative to Q- fever. 

Non-human Primate Contact (Category 3) 

BOHC plus attention to the following category specific diseases: 

  • Tuberculosis:This zoonotic disease can be devastating in a monkey colony. Due to the significant hazard associated with tuberculosis, special precautions are taken for individuals working with non-human primates or their products or care devices. Tuberculin skin testing is performed annually for all employees or participants with non-human primate, product or device contact. No person with active TB will be allowed into an UNMC primate facility. 
  • Rubeola (measles):Measles can be a deadly disease to nonhuman primates. Persons with active cases of measles will be prohibited entry to any UNMC primate facility. All employees working in rooms containing non-human primates must have documented proof of immunity or be vaccinated. 
  • Macacine herpesvirus 1 (Other names for this virus include Herpes B-virus, Monkey B virus and Cercopithecine herpesvirus 1): participants are apprised of the issues surrounding this disease which can result from bites, scratches, needle sticks and mucosal exposure from rhesus, cynomolgus and other "Old World" monkeys of the genus Macaca. Since there is no vaccine for this disease, training in proper primate handling and care is essential. Additionally, wound management procedures will be re-enforced during primate training sessions required by the IACUC and Comparative Medicine.