November 24, 2014

Pets in the Workplace

Marine Biological Laboratory
Policy No. D.1.1

Marine Biological Laboratory

Initiated by: MBL Environmental, Health and Safety Officer
Approved by: MBL President/Director
Date: June 23, 2008
Revision:  #3 – May 22, 2013

Distribution: MBL Community

1.0 Policy Statement:
MBL is committed to providing a safe, non-threatening and healthy working environment for all employees in the conduct of MBL research and education functions in the MBL’s laboratories and support facilities and on board the MBL’s collecting vessels.  MBL is also required to be in compliance with all relevant local, state and federal policies and guidelines for conduct of research.  With those goals in mind, the purpose of this policy is to clearly define the MBL’s position on “Pets in the MBL Workplace.”

2.0 Definitions:
A pet is defined as any personally owned, non-research animal kept for pleasure.  In addition to traditional pets such as dogs and cats, other mammals, fish, insects, birds, amphibians, snakes, and other non-research animals are also considered pets if they are personally owned and not on the MBL premises explicitly for research and education purposes.

3.0 In an effort to respond to concerns of health (especially allergies), fear and safety concerning pets, and to comply with the OSHA laboratory standard, which clearly states that there are no pets allowed in laboratories including but not limited to dogs, the policy is as follows:

3.1 Pets are not allowed in any MBL building including office and other non-research buildings and areas.

3.2 Pets are not allowed in any MBL vehicles, which includes collecting vessels.

NOTE: The above restrictions do not apply to MBL Housing which has its own pets policy.

4.0 Pet owners are strongly discouraged from keeping their pets in their cars during work hours as it may represent a health threat for the pet.  Pets can suffer and possibly die when left in a car on a moderately warm day, or a cool day parked in direct sunlight, even with the windows slightly open.  Causing an animal to be subjected to unnecessary cruelty or suffering is illegal in Massachusetts and is punishable by imprisonment for up to one year and a fine of up to $1,000.  Authorities may be contacted if pets are found confined in a vehicle in a potentially dangerous situation.

5.0 Policy Clarification and Updates:
Policy clarification and updates are available from the Safety Office or the Facilities Office.