Animal and Veterinary Service

Restricted Access Policy

Restricted Access Policy
Requesting Access to the Facility
Requesting Animal Holding Space at the Facility
Request to Film in the Vivarium
Visitors to the Vivarium
Hours of Operation
12 Hour Rule

AVS operates under Biosafety Level II (BSL II) (moderate potential hazard to personnel and environment) guidelines as set forth by the Centers for Disease Control - National Institutes of Health Biosafety in Microbiological and Biomedical Laboratories, AVS Occupational Health and Safety manual, and Environmental Health and Safety Office (EHSO) Biosafety program.


The laboratory director shall:

  • Establish policies and procedures for entry, based on risk assessment of existing conditions in the laboratory, as well as the status of persons requesting entry.
  • Allow only those who have been advised of potential hazards and meet specific entry requirements (e.g. immunization) to enter the laboratory.
  • Ensures that personnel receive appropriate training.
  • Limits or restricts access to the laboratory when experiments are in progress.

Workplace hazards that may also be encountered under the BSL II conditions such as AVS include physical injuries, musculoskeletal injuries, falls on slippery floors, allergens, human and zoonotic agents, hazardous chemicals, research isotopes, exposure to high noise levels, puncture wounds from sharps. In addition, research animals may be at risk from acquiring disease from unauthorized persons or animals. For example, the Aotus monkeys are susceptible to tuberculosis (TB), measles (rubeola), and Herpes simplex (cold sores) which can be acquired from humans.

EHSO's biosafety web page details the UH's policy on Minors, Volunteers, Pets and Working Alone. It summarizes that "individuals must be at least 14 years old to tour (enter) lab space and at least 16 years old to work in lab space. Children will not be allowed in areas posted with restrictive warning signs. Students researches will not be allowed to have friends, fellow students, children, or visitors with them in lab unless they have received specific permission from the faculty supervisors involved. There will be no babysitting in instructional biological laboratories and especially during active manipulation. Federal OSHA requirements prohibit minors 16 years and under from working in hazardous areas. Association for Assessment and Accreditation for Laboratory Animal Care, International (AAALAC) prohibits minors under 16 years of age from entering a room containing monkeys and BSL III laboratories."

Requests for variance from these guidelines shall be obtained in advance from the laboratory director, and in some cases from the UH Institutional Biosafety Committee.(IBC).