U.S.Fish and Wildlife Service  241 FW 9, Wildlife Handling and Inspections


FWM#:         270 (new)
Date:            September 30, 1996
Series:          Occupational Safety and Health
Part 241:       Safety Operations
Originating Office:  Office of Safety and Health  


9.1 Purpose. This chapter identifies safety and occupational health issues, equipment, and training associated with handling and/or inspection of wildlife, including wildlife specimens, and trophy shipments.

9.2 Scope. The provisions of this chapter apply to Service personnel whose duties involve handling and/or inspection of wildlife, including wildlife specimens, and trophy shipments.

9.3 Authorities.

A. 240 FW 2, Safety, Program Management.

B. 241 FW 3, Safety Operations, Personal Protective Equipment (PPE).

C. 241 FW 12, Industrial Hygiene, Bloodborne Pathogens Compliance Program.

D. 242 FW 1, Industrial Hygiene, Policy and General Provisions.

9.4 Responsibilities:

A. Regional Directors.

(1) Responsible for a safety and occupational health program for handling and/or inspection of wildlife, and trophy shipments.

(2) Responsible for informing subordinate supervisors of their obligation to provide training and appropriate PPE for personnel involved in handling and/or inspection of wildlife, and trophy shipments.

B. Regional Safety Managers.

Responsible for conducting or arranging for safety and occupational health inspections and monitoring of Service locations for compliance, including written recommendations for correction of substandard conditions.

C. Project Managers, Leaders, and Senior Resident Agents.

(1) Responsible for recognizing hazards personnel encounter during handling and/or inspection of wildlife, and trophy shipments.

(2) Responsible for developing job hazard analysis (JHA) for handling and/or inspection of wildlife, and trophy shipments.

(3) Responsible for determining specific activities requiring JHAs and for incorporating these determinations into their station safety and occupational health plans.

(4) Responsible for verifying personnel are provided training and PPE for handling and/or inspection of wildlife, and trophy shipments.

(5) Responsible for ensuring biohazard or biohazardous waste generated by handling and/or inspection of wildlife, and trophy shipments will be disposed of in accordance with 561 FW 13.

9.5 Definitions.

A. Anaphylaxis. Hypersensitivity to foreign proteins or drugs resulting from sensitization following previous contact with the antigen.

B. Biohazard. An infectious agent presenting a risk or potential risk to human or wildlife well-being, either directly through infection or indirectly through disruption of the environment.

C. Biohazard Waste. Any waste substance which contains, or potentially contains, a biohazard.

D. Contact. Coming within 1.5 meters (5 feet) of wildlife or a container in which wildlife currently resides or formerly resided.

E. Exposure. Subjecting personnel to a chemical, biological or physical agent that is or may be a health hazard, and includes the potential (e.g., accidental or possible) for exposure. The term subjecting, relative to health hazards, includes any route of entry (e.g., inhalation, ingestion, injection, or absorption).

F. High Efficiency Particulate Air (HEPA) Filtration. Mechanical filtration which can trap and retain at least 99.97 percent of 0.3 micrometer (0.000039 inch) diameter particles.

G. Histoplasmosis. An infection resulting from inhalation or the ingestion of spores of a fungus commonly spread by fowl.

H. JHA. A systematic method for breaking down a job task, duty, or activity into basic steps and examining each step for potential hazards. (Refer to 240 FW 2, APPENDIX 1).

I. PPE. Specialized clothing or equipment worn for protection against a hazard. General work clothes (e.g., uniforms, pants, shirts or blouses) are not considered PPE,(Refer to 241 FW 3).

J. Psittacosis/Ornithosis. An acute or chronic respiratory and systemic disease of various wild and domestic birds. Transmitted to humans and other wildlife via liquid or dried bird excreta, the bite of an infected bird, or the handling of feathers and tissues of infected birds.

K. Tuberculosis. An infectious disease of man and wildlife characterized by the formation of tubercles and/or necrosis in tissues.

L. Wildlife. Any alive or dead wild animal, mammal, bird, reptile, amphibian, fish, mollusk, crustacean, arthropod, coelenterate, or invertebrate, whether or not bred, hatched, or born in captivity, and including any part, product, egg, or offspring.

9.6 Program Considerations.

A. Program guidance for a variety of wildlife handling and/or inspection activities where personnel are involved is presented in Exhibit 1. Various handling and/or inspection of wildlife, and trophy shipment duties are encountered by Service personnel that are not covered in this chapter. These duties and potential safety and occupational health hazards must be addressed on a case-by-case basis by Project Managers, Leaders, or Senior Resident Agents. (Refer to 240 FW 2, 241 FW 3 and 242 FW 2 for JHA procedures to determine the hazards, PPE, training, and medical surveillance). In many cases, where employees are rarely involved in wildlife handling a JHA may not be required.

B. The following activities are prohibited when conducting activities within the scope of this chapter: eating, drinking, food preparation and storage, smoking, applying cosmetics, or engaging in any other activity which might permit skin or mucous membrane contact with contaminated materials.

9.7 Training.

A. Training will be based on hazards identified as a result of the JHA.

B. Training may be required for specific issues related to handling and/or inspection of wildlife, and trophy shipments. (Refer to Part 242, FW 1, Industrial Hygiene).

C. PPE will be based on hazards identified as a result of the JHA. (Refer to Part 240 FW 2, APPENDIX 1). PPE for unusual circumstances such as Law Enforcement covert activities will be determined on a case-by-case basis.



For more information about the content of this chapter, contact the Division of Safety and Health. For additional information about this Web page, contact Krista Bibb, in the Division of Policy and Directives Management. 


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