From the ILAR Guide
In the 2011 "Guide for the Care and Use of Laboratory Animals" (http://oacu.od.nih.gov/regs/guide/guide.pdf) there is a section (pp 18-19) on "Hazard Identification and Risk Assessment," which is reproduced below as a summary and a foundation to the Cal Poly Pomona safety with animals program.
"The institutional OHSP (Occupational of Health and Safety Program) should identify potential hazards in the work environment and conduct a critical assessment of the associated risks. An effective OHSP ensures that the risks associated with the experimental use of animals are identified and reduced to minimal and acceptable levels. Hazard identification and risk assessment are ongoing processes that involve individuals qualified to assess dangers associated with the Program and implement commensurate safeguards. Health and safety specialists with knowledge in relevant disciplines should be involved in risk assessment and the development of procedures to manage such risks.
"Potential hazards include experimental hazards such as biologic agents (e.g., infectious agents or toxins), chemical agents (e.g., carcinogens and mutagens), radiation (e.g., radionuclides, X-rays, lasers), and physical hazards (e.g., needles and syringes). The risks associated with unusual experimental conditions such as those encountered in field studies or wildlife research should also be addressed. Other potential hazards—such as animal bites, exposure to allergens, chemical cleaning agents, wet floors, cage washers and other equipment, lifting, ladder use, and zoonoses—that are inherent in or intrinsic to animal use should be identified and evaluated. Once potential hazards have been identified, a critical ongoing assessment of the associated risks should be conducted to determine appropriate strategies to minimize or manage the risks.
"The extent and level of participation of personnel in the OHSP should be based on the hazards posed by the animals and materials used (the severity or seriousness of the hazard); the exposure intensity, duration, and frequency (prevalence of the hazard); to some extent, the susceptibility (e.g., immune status) of the personnel; and the history of occupational illness and injury in the particular workplace (Newcomer 2002; NRC 1997). Ongoing identification and evaluation of hazards call for periodic inspections and reporting of potential hazardous conditions or 'near miss' incidents."