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Managing the risks - controls in BSUs

Ventilation:

  • Room: Animals are housed either in open top-cages within ventilated rooms or within individually ventilated cages.  Both are designed to control the amount of airborne allergen but additional measures such as the use of personal protective equipment may be needed.
  • Local:When animals are removed from their housing, all procedures should be carried out using some means of local exhaust ventilation (LEV) eg a microbiological safety cabinet or down-draught table.  Where LEV cannot be used, other appropriate controls may be needed, including the use of respiratory protective equipment (RPE).

Personal protective equipment (PPE): All PPE is provided within the BSU.  This comprises as a minimum the following: (NB if you don't wear the correct equipment, you will be denied access to the facility)

personal protective equipment

You may need to use additional protection, such as aprons, eye protection or cut-resistant gloves; this should be based on the risk assessment of the activity to be undertaken.  Other types of clothing may also be used to protect the health of the animals particularly in theatres or when working with animals of a defined/known health status.

If you are already sensitised, you must wear RPE whatever the local arrangements as exposure to even very small amounts of allergen could lead to a deterioration in your condition.

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