Laboratory Animal Exposure Risk Assessment Program

The University of Maryland Baltimore is committed to providing a safe working environment for all personnel, including individuals handling research animals. The Laboratory Animal Exposure Risk Assessment Program (LAERAP) is designed to assess the risk for personnel involved in the direct care of laboratory animals and their living quarters as well as those individuals who have both direct and indirect contact with animals (live or dead), their viable tissues, body fluids, or wastes.

The LAERAP is also designed to convey relevant information on the risk associated with the laboratory animal environment including physical injuries, allergens, zoonotic diseases, and hazardous agents. The LAERAP consists of completing a web-based, medical, health questionnaire and reviewing of the Occupational Health & Safety for Personnel with Laboratory Animal Contact.

Please note that employees will be contacted by email if an appointment with a physician is required for further review of their medical history to complete the risk assessment.

An excellent reference for personnel health and safety when working with research animals is the NCR Occupational Health and Safety in the Care and Use of Research Animals.


Why is the LAERAP required?

The Public Health Service (PHS) Policy on Humane Care and Use of Laboratory Animals requires institutions that receive federal funds to provide occupational healthcare services to employees who work in laboratory animal facilities or have frequent contact with animals. This same policy requires animal care and use programs to follow the recommendations of the Guide for the Care and Use of Laboratory Animals. This guide not only provides guidelines and references for the welfare of research animals, but also recommends an Occupational Health and Safety Program for those working in animal facilities and having exposure to animals.

Who must enroll in the LAERAP?

  • All UMB principal investigators.
  • Anyone that is exposed to laboratory animals.
  • Anyone that handles laboratory animals.
  • Anyone that handles laboratory animal tissues, body fluids, or wastes.

NOTE: Every person listed on an UMB IACUC animal use protocol MUST be enrolled in this program prior to final IACUC approval.

How do I enroll in the LAERAP?

If you have not received an invitation to complete your annual questionnaire (Subject line: "Invitation to complete UMB LAERAP as IACUC Requirement"), visit this page and fill out the requested information, using your official UMB email address.  A staff member will evaluate your submission and send you an invitation to complete the LAERAP questionnaire.   Please note this is a two-step process.  

Completion of the LAERAP questionnaire is required annually, as long as you have potential exposure to live laboratory animals.  A reminder email will be sent to you 30 days before your past LAERAP completion expires. 


The following pieces of information should be known before completing this form.

  1. Date of last tetanus vaccination.
  2. Date of last tuberculosis testing*
    *Only required for those individuals working with non-human primates.

NOTE: All information collected on the medical health questionnaire is strictly for use by UMB Occupational Health.  Except for reporting your compliance in completing the form, information from this form will not be released without your knowledge and authorization, unless permitted or required by law.

Are there any costs associated with the LAERAP?

No, unless you’ve been contacted to schedule an appointment with the UMB Occupational Health Physician at UMaryland Immediate Care. There is a medical evaluation fee that will be charged to the employee’s department.

Do I have to do anything after I've enrolled in the LAERAP?

No, unless...

  1. You've been contacted by email to schedule an appointment with the UMB Occupational Health Physician at UMaryland Immediate Care practice. This appointment is required to further review your medical history in order to complete your risk assessment.


  2. If you've become injured, feel you're developing an allergy, or if you've developed any health concerns related to your research animal exposure, contact UMaryland Immediate Care (667-214-1886) for medical review and consultation. More information on injuries or exposures.