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Assessing the risks

All work involving the handling of animals must be assessed, both the risk of exposure to allergens and that from any procedures need to be considered:

Risk from allergen - think about:

  • Numbers and species of animals handled
  • Routes of exposure - airborne vs direct contact
  • Nature of the work and duration - eg scientific procedures, cleaning, feeding and transport
  • Who could be exposed - eg staff, students, maintenance staff and contractors

Risks from procedures -think about:

  • Hazardous substances used - chemical, biological (including any genetically modified micro-organisms) or radiological
  • Means of administration of substances - eg in food/water or by injection
  • Fate of any administered substance - could it be metabolised, shed or excreted in a harmful form
  • Use of any specialised equipment - eg lasers, imaging devices. How will equipment be decontaminated especially if used by others

Declaration of risks - If work is carried out in a Biological Services Unit, a declaration of risks must be completed and returned to the Unit Manager before work can start.  This is not a risk assessment but simply a means of communicating the relevant risks from your risk assessment to BSU staff so that they can take appropriate precautions to protect themselves during routine husbandry tasks and also ensure the correct means of disposal of any hazardous waste generated during your work.



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