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Baby Wildlife in the Lab?!

Q: We have a laboratory employee that often brings baby wildlife to work. She rehabilitates baby animals and brings the animals to work during the day so they can be fed. This is mainly a pathology lab that also performs bacteriology. The animals are usually not located in the middle of workflow but we have had complaints about smell/droppings etc. They are actually kept in a room located off the hallway of the main lab. I am trying to handle this situation tactfully. Is she breaking any laws? It would be nice to have some good documentation when I approach the lab director. Thanks for your help.

A: CLIA regulations are only concerned with the quality of the diagnostic test performed, not with the testing environment. So, technically your employee is within CLIA legal boundaries. However, with that said, if other employees are complaining, it would be a good idea to address the situation immediately before patients get the word and begin to question the validity of tests performed at your pathology lab. If this becomes the case you'll have a full fledged PR nightmare on your hands.

Posted by Quality America on February 15, 2008 | Comments (2)


Are any OSHA regulations being violated?

Posted by: Karen Baar at February 18, 2008 10:58 AM

OSHA governs worker safety in all industries, therefore they never specifically say "no animals allowed in the building". This is because some workplaces, a vet clinic or zoo for example, would be expected to have animals present.

OSHA has guidelines for indoor air quality that could potentially be applied against the smell, but these do not carry the full force of a regulation.

Hope this helps!

Posted by: Sarah Alholm at February 18, 2008 03:55 PM

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