Policy Number: 1997-002-io
Policy Title: Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) for University of Wisconsin-Madison Faculty/Staff/Students Working with Old World Nonhuman Primates

Purpose: Personal protective equipment (PPE) shall be provided to personnel to be used in order to: 1) minimize human exposure to nonhuman primate potentially infectious materials; 2) prevent injuries from nonhuman primates; 3) protect nonhuman primate health from potentially infectious human agents; and 4) contain potential sources of infection within the barrier facility.

POLICY: The intent of this policy is to provide minimum standards of protective equipment to be provided and used when in direct contact with nonhuman primates or within areas containing nonhuman primates. We recognize there are special situations (e.g., quarantine, cage washing, etc.) that will require more extensive PPE requirements and expect that senior program veterinarians, facility managers, principal investigators (PI), and/or supervisors will identify these and generate SOPs to dictate additional requirements beyond the minimum standards for these situations. There may also be personal exceptions that will need to be addressed for certain individuals. The senior program veterinarians will define these exceptions on a case-by-case basis.

Description of PPE required in nonhuman primate areas

  • A protective outer garment that has long sleeves with either elastic or knit cuffs to ensure wrists are covered must be worn over street clothes or scrubs at all times.
  • Surgical facemask is required at all times.
  • Approved safety glasses or a face shield is required at all times, or full splash protection (e.g., safety goggles or welders mask) when working with spraying water.
  • Latex or nitrile exam gloves, or gloves of other nonpermeable material, are required at all times. Double gloves are required when in direct contact with non-human primates or equipment.
  • Footwear must cover the entire foot (no open toe or backless shoes). Use of dedicated facility shoes is highly recommended. Waterproof shoe covers must be used over street shoes.
  • Head covering such as surgical tieback or bouffant caps, with long hair secured under the head cover, is required at all times. Facilities must provide suitable head covers for staff entering nonhuman primate areas.

Proper usage of PPE

  • PPE must be available when entering an area with nonhuman primates. PPE must be donned before entry to room or barrier.
  • Upon exit of the nonhuman primate area, all disposable PPE must be discarded in containers outside of the room or barrier.
  • When wearing a lab coat or other dedicated clothing that you will continue to wear while working with nonhuman primates in a lab or other facility (MRI, PET, etc.), a clean, unused outer garment must cover the lab coat while you are transporting the animal through public access areas. If you choose to wear gloves during transport, they must be clean unused gloves.
If it becomes apparent that an employee has not retained the requisite understanding or skill required to use the PPE, or an employee has the skill and knowledge and still chooses not to use the required PPE, appropriate University of Wisconsin-Madison Human Resources Department policies and procedures will be followed.


All PPE worn to work with nonhuman primates must be disposed of in accordance with facility-specific standard operating procedures and best safety practices.


  • The United States Department of Labor Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) 29 CFR 1910.132-136. Subpart Number: I Personal Protective Equipment, April 6, 1994 and as amended (http://www.osha.gov/)
  • Occupational Health and Safety in the Care and Use of Research Animals (Institute of Laboratory Animal Resources Commission on Life Sciences, National Research Council, National Academy of Sciences; 1997; ISBN-10: 0-309-05299-8)


Author: Carla Alvarado, Nancy Schultz-Darken
ePublication Date: 12/19/1997
History: Amended 7/2008