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Occupational Health & Safety

The New Iberia Research Center has an on site Occupational Health and Safety program. The Occupational Health and Safety program is provided for employees in order to address health and safety issues pertaining to working in a laboratory animal setting using non-human primates as the principle animal model.

The program is driven by Standard Operating Procedures that address the Occupational Safety and Health Administration and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s regulations and recommendations issued for the health and safety of all employees. The program provides oversight for the injury reporting, health surveillance, respiratory protection, radiological safety, chemical safety and biological safety programs.

The Occupational Health and Safety program also plays a part in the health of our non-human primates by requiring that all employees, students, and visitors provide proof of a negative Tuberculosis test performed 6 months prior to contact with the animals at the Center. If the person cannot have a Tuberculosis test performed, a negative chest radiograph performed within 1 year of contact will be accepted. Other pre-visit requirements must be met for specific areas of the Center, ex. Respirator Clearance, Titers, etc. Contact the Occupational Health Nurse or your NIRC representative to obtain additional information regarding pre-visit requirements.

The Occupational Health Program uses as its primary standard, the Guide. Additional guides used by occupational health process and procedures are the 5th edition of CDC Manual "Biosafety in Microbiological and Biomedical Laboratories", the 1997 edition of Occupational Health and Safety in the Care and Use of Research Animals, the 2003 edition of Occupational Health and Safety in the Care and Use of Nonhuman Primates, the 2016 edition of the NIH Recombinant DNA Guidelines, OSHA Respiratory Protection Standards 29 CFR 1910.134 and 29 CFR 1910.139 and OSHA Blood borne Pathogen Standard 29 CFR 1910.1030, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Recommended Vaccines for Healthcare Workers, and the CDC, Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices, and UL Lafayette Loss Prevention Program . The USDA Animal Welfare Act and FDA Good Laboratory Practice regulation (21 CFR Part 58) provides the guiding principles defining the operations and standards for nonclinical animal studies, and clinical pathology laboratory operations ensuring the quality and integrity of data generation.