Responding to an emergency animal disease outbreak, such as avian influenza, can present many risks to human health and the environment. When it is not feasible to render the working environment completely safe by reducing or eliminating a potentially hazardous agent, it is necessary to protect the responder from potentially hazardous agents by using personal protective equipment or PPE.
PPE imposes a barrier between the worker and hazard; if the barrier fails, immediate exposure is the result. Supervisors of emergency outbreak responders must ensure responders use appropriate PPE in accordance with the site specific health and safety plan for the situation. APHIS employees should refer to APHIS Directive 6800.1 and the APHIS Health and Safety Plan (HASP) Template for additional guidance.
PPE includes a variety of devices and garments including goggles, face shields, safety glasses, coveralls, gloves, earplugs, respirators, hard hats, safety shoes and rubber boots. The specific type of PPE selected depends on the site specific hazards, and will be identified in the site specific health and safety plan.
This topic covers health risks associated with in-house composting and the PPE required to minimize those risks.