Office of Student Life

Student Health Services

Risk Assessment for Student Research

Unpaid students who have regular direct contact with a variety of common biological agents, as well as laboratory, domestic and wild animals, their tissues, body fluids, wastes or living quarters, are required to participate in the online risk assessment and clearance process. 

There are three potential health risks associated with working with animals:

  • Physical injuries
  • Allergies caused by or aggravated by animal allergens
  • Zoonotic illnesses (infections spread from animals to man)

Student Life Student Health Services (SLSHS) provides the necessary health screenings and services, determined by the student's exposure risks.

Students are enrolled in laboratory safety training and are instructed to complete an online registration to become part of the online risk assessment registry. Students referred to SLSHS via the registry are required to complete the Animal and Biological Agents Contact Form (see above). Students will be contacted by SLSHS and advised regarding necessary testing, vaccinations or other interventions.

All required health screening charges for animal handlers will be paid by departmental funding.

Failure to complete the required screening will be reported and could result in exclusion from the laboratory.

* Students who are paid for working with animals, such as Graduate Associates, are considered university employees and receive risk assessment services from Ohio State Employee Health 614-293-8146.


Animal Exposures

Animal exposures include:

  • Bites
  • Scratches
  • Allergies

Notify a health-care provider immediately if you develop any symptoms associated with animal contact. Student Life Student Health Services evaluates acute problems during our normal business hours. After-hours care may be sought at a hospital emergency department or urgent care center. Share with the provider as much information as possible, including the source of injury and/or exposure and the species of animal/any known pathogens involved.