Work in grey and black zone

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Zone definitions at IBM:

Grey zone Laboratory areas where experiments involving individual animals are conducted.
Black zone Animal section where laboratory animals are housed and which contains laboratories for experiments using animal groups in experiments (protracted experiments).
White Zone Laboratories without working with animals, as well as office space.

Experimental work with animals

Work involving animals at the department must only be conducted in grey or black zones on the seventh floor. 'Work with laboratory animals' refers to work with animals directly, as well as work in rooms where experiments involving animals are conducted.

Everyone who works with laboratory animals must be regularly vaccinated against tetanus.

Health risks when working with animals

Everyone who works with animals is at risk of developing allergies. Allergies most often manifest themselves during the first 1-2 years of working with laboratory animals (fur-bearing), but may in some cases develop later. It is therefore important to have work procedures which contribute to limiting the spread of allergens. Our common goal is to have the smallest possible amount of allergens floating around in the air. It is also important to have good procedures for changing shoes/clothing to avoid spreading allergens to zones where work involving animals is not conducted (white zone). This means that everyone must maintain orderliness and a good level of cleanliness in laboratories where animals are used in experiments (ref. ”Cleaning procedures for work in laboratories”).


Unfortunately, developing allergies to laboratory animals is a big problem. It is important to prevent allergies, therefore protective equipment like gloves and masks with particle filter (min P2) must be used. Persons who already have allergies or asthma should not work in the animal section. The risk of developing allergies must be taken just as seriously by those who only visit the section sporadically and who do not necessarily work directly with animals on a daily basis. This applies to researchers, technicians and assistants at different levels.

All university employees who are to work with animals must contact the HSE section before starting in their position. They will be followed up by the HSE section in accordance with a defined programme. Blood tests are taken to check for the development of antibodies as part of this follow-up work. There are several measures that can be taken to prevent allergy complaints. Contact the team leader/ personnel administration or the HSE section for more information.

Routines regarding sluice rooms and break rooms

The sluice room for the grey zone is located on level 7. (7B001Y). Access to the grey zone is restricted and requires authorisation, this is issued by Eli Gunn Kjørlaug (Fellesavdelingen, 6th floor).

Dress code

Special clothing (trousers, lab coats and special shoes) must be worn when working with animals in the grey zone in order to avoid transferring infectious substances and allergens between the grey and white zones. Wearing lab coats that fasten at the back and change of shoes is acceptable for short stays in the grey zone which do not involve handling animals. White lab coats are not permitted in the grey zone. Clean clothing for use in the grey zone is kept in a marked cupboard in the office corridor in the white zone. In addition, the instructions and signs in the sluice room should be followed.

Please note that the sluice room is not a changing room for coats and jackets, bags etc. These can be placed in the changing room on the ground floor.

When leaving the grey zone lab coats must be hung on the row of hooks (labelled by name) by the entrance to the sluice room before leaving the grey zone. Lab coats which have been worn while working with animals, radiation or other for other “unclean” work must be sent for washing or hung on separate hooks in the laboratory. Lab coats that are to be washed must be turned inside out, rolled up and placed in the laundry basket. The laundry basket is located inside the sluice room. Change lab coat regularly.

Footwear should not be placed on the floor, but hang on peg board in the sluice. All work clothes should be washed at the end of the week.

Hand wash with soap and running water is required when you have been in direct or indirect contact with animals, and always when leaving the grey zone.

Order and cleanliness

The workplace must be kept in order. Everyone working in the grey zone is responsible for keeping the laboratories orderly and clean. Benches must be cleaned after every workday, or as often as necessary. Empty cages must be brought back to the animal department as soon as possible. Animal carcasses and other problematic waste shall be packed in double waste bags; placed in a plastic container in the cooling room (7C137cY), located between grey and black zone. Information about the internal handling of problematic waste can also be found in the cooling room.

Repeated breaches and failure to respect the department’s regulations will lead to expulsion from the grey zone and deactivation of your access card!

Break rooms

There is a separate break room in the grey zone (kitchenette). Before entering the break room, lab coats used for laboratory work must be hung on dedicated hooks in the laboratory and a clean lab coat must be put on. If you have changed into trousers and a lab coat for working in the grey zone, it is sufficient to hang the lab coat in the laboratory.

Routines in the laboratory

Work with animals and limiting the spread of allergens

It is our common goal to limit the amount of allergens in the air. An untidy workplace and lack of good cleaning procedure potentially exposes all employees, even those not even working with animals, to allergens. For those who are allergic, this means a daily danger of a worsening of their condition, without the opportunity of active prevention.

  • When working/staying in the gray zone always wear shoes/clogs and coat (back-buttoned).
  • It is recommended to use a protection garment and trousers when working/staying for extended periods in the gray zone.
  • Those who do not use a protection garment and trousers must use a carer coat at all times when they are in grey zone.
  • Do not use perfume in either gray or black zone. This affects the animal’s behavior.
  • All employees must wear a protective mask (minimum particle filter P2), gloves and coat when working with animals. It is particularly important that new employees and students are well informed and always follow the working routines.
  • Allergists must wear a respiratory protective mask.
  • Animals under anesthesia (acute experiments) must not be left unattended, though it is permitted to take a short pause in the break room in the gray zone.
  • Transport of animals to and from the stable (black zone) must be conducted in a IVC cage, or a cage with a filter.
  • Caged animals must be kept in a fume hood or in a transportation cage connected to ventilation. The doors in the laboratories in the gray zone must be kept closed at all times.
  • The workplace must be cleaned thoroughly after use, every day.
  • All items contaminated by animal material must be placed into a special garbage can with plastic bag and lid. The plastic bag is closed at the end of an experiment and put together with regular garbage.
  • All biological waste is transported to the refrigeration room for hazardous waste and disposed of in an appropriate container.
  • Coats used when working with animals must be turned inside out and rolled up before being placed in the laundry basket (with lid). This basket is situated in the sluice in the grey zone.
  • Used disposable items (e.g. plastic shoe covers), must be disposed of in a separate waste basket at the same location.
  • All work clothes must be changed at least once a week. All used garments are to be rolled up and placed in the laundry basket inside the sluice.

Order, cleaning and waste

  • The workplace must be cleaned thoroughly after use. All are responsible for keeping a good cleaning. This is important to ensure good indoor air quality and to prevent the spread of allergens
  • All items contaminated by animal material (non-biological wast) must be placed into a special garbage can with plastic bag. The plastic bag is closed at the end of an experiment and put together with regular garbage.
  • Used needles and scalpels are placed into special plastic containers (yellow boxes). When these are full, they must be closed, packed in plastic boxes and placed in the refrigeration room (gray zone) problematic waste.
  • All equipment used in an experiment should be washed and put in place. Other equipment in the laboratory used in experiments must be wiped off.
  • Cabinet doors must be closed. Keep to a minimum of open shelves since they collect dust.
  • The benches should be washed thoroughly!
  • Central vacuum cleaner is used to remove dust and other dry particles after experiments. Spills must be wiped up immediately.
  • The laboratories should be tidied every day, so that the cleaning staff can perform their cleaning procedures properly. Remove items from the floor, no loose wires on the floor and work surfaces should be cleaned and washed.
  • Dead animals and biological waste must be packed in double plastic bag and place in labeled containers in refrigeration room for problematic. Dead animals and biological wastes containing radioactivity must be placed in a separate container. See labeling on the containers in the refrigeration room!
  • Coats used when working with animals must be turned inside out and rolled up before being placed in the laundry basket (with lid). This basket is situated in the sluice in the gray zone.
  • All work clothes must be changed at least once a week. All used garments are to be rolled up and placed in the laundry basket inside the sluice.
  • Plastic shoe covers must be disposed of in a separate waste basket at the same location.
  • All laboratories should have a main cleaning at least once a year.

If the rules are not followed, there will be restrictions related to working in the laboratories and the performing of experiments.

Restrictions will be added as access restrictions on the access-card(s).

Access to the animal section, black zone

Sluice rooms and access

There are public changing rooms for the black zone (animal section) in the sluice room dividing the grey and black zones on level 7. Entrance via the grey zone or directly from the white zone using the door in the east stairway. A separate access card is required for access to the black zone. This can be obtained by contacting Joanna Stormark in the animal section ((555) 86315). Separate rules apply to the black zone. User information is posted on the information board in the sluice to black zone.

Transportation between grey and black zone (animal section)

Animals must only be transported in special transport cases, which must always be covered in order to prevent the spread of allergens. Experiments must be planned and conducted in a manner which ensures that the least possible number of animals needs to be moved back and forth between the grey and black zones. Animals must only be moved between these zones when an experiment cannot be conducted within the black zone. Likewise, equipment such as anaesthetic apparatus and similar shall not be transported between the grey and black zones or between sections. Small hand instruments and similar which are easy to clean and disinfect are exceptions to this rule. It is not permitted to house animals in the grey zone.

Additional information

General safety information

Lighting: Note that the lights in the laboratories are remote controlled and may be switched off between 17.00 and 08.00.
Fire alarm: Loudspeaker announcement + bells. Read the Fire protection chapter and study the map of escape routes posted on the walls in each floor. You should know the quickest escape route from the different parts of the floor, in addition to where to go when evacuated. Contact the protection officer at the floor in question for information.
Gas alarm: Many of the rooms have gas detectors which make a pulsating beeping noise when triggered. Gas alarms must be reported to the Operations Division on 55 58 62 50.
Access control: Everyone who receives an access card is given their own access code. Do not let strangers in. Children are not permitted to enter the animal section. Any defects in the closing mechanism for the entrance door must be reported immediately (Demand notice in LYDIA).
Flammable goods: Flammable goods must be labelled and stored in a fireproof area. Flammable goods and gases must not be brought into the building without the agreement of the fire protection officer (se the Fire protection chapter). There are emergency showers in the corridors and in some laboratories.

Internal emergency numbers
Medical emergency number: 55 97 33 33
Operations Division BB-building: 55 58 62 50
Security section Haukeland Hospital: 55 97 20 04

Procedures for transporting animals

In order to make the best use of equipment and resources at UoB’s animal sections it may be desirable to move animals from one section to another.

Between animal sections

  1. Animals which have been outside the section must be placed in a separate room in the stall on return and must not be placed together with other animals. Before moving the animal there must have been made an arrangement with the animal section the animal is being moved to. Researcher must notify the receiver at least two days in advance (work days).
  2. The core breeding facility in Vivarium is a breeding stable, and only accepts animals from departments/distributors that the research veterinary approves.
  3. No animals that have been housed at Vivarium or BBB can be moved to the core breeding facility.
  4. Animals can be moved from the core breeding facility to Vivarium or BBB. Animals can move from grey to black zone as long as there are rooms available. This must be approved by the animal section before moving animals. Grey zone does not satisfy the regulations for housing animals by the Europa convention, so this should be limited to a minimum.
  5. Animals shall never be in white zones (BBB) or the hospital, except for previously approved transport (other rules and procedures apply).
  6. Transport shall be gentle to the animals. They can be transported in IVC cages, or in special transport boxes that is provided by the animal section. Transport can be carried out by car, or in special scantainers with allergy filters. The animal section provides this as well, make an appointment to borrow it. The equipment must be cleaned and disinfected using Virkon or Desdos between transports. The IVC cage shall also be disinfected on the outside before being placed back in the rack after transport.
  7. From BBB to Vivarium or Vivarium to BBB: Go through the goods reception areas.
  8. Note: All transport between the animal sections shall be approved by the research veterinary, and scheduled with the animal sections. Receiver should prepare a cage in the new location.
  9. The animals should be acclimatized at the new location before being subjected to procedures.
  10. All transport of animals will cause them stress, and should be limited as much as possible. By planing where equipment etc. is located one can limit the need for transporting the animals.
  11. All transport of animals shall be described in FOTS and be part of the approved research protocol.

Between the animal sections Vivarium / black zone BBB and the PET-centre

  1. Transport of animals between Vivarium/BBB and the PET-centre has to be approved by the vet at the Animal House, in addition be part of an approved research protocol (FOTS) and clarified with the technicians in the respective animal-care facilities.
  2. Transport routines must have the approval of HUS and the HMS-responsible person at BBB (this must be standardised and receive general approval of HUS and UoB).
  3. If no other form of agreement has been made then the project leader has the responsibility for the transport of animals.
  4. Animals to be used in research must be transported in closed IVC-cages that are placed in a transport container equipped with necessary filters, a scantainer or in a transportable cage (secured with a strap) placed on an appropriate trolley, such that allergens are not released. Cages used for transport must be covered such that the content is not visible.
  5. Transport routes:
    1. From Vivarium: Via the bridge from Vivarium to the south-lift (transport lift) in the 3rd floor “Central blokken”, to the basement. Follow the tunnel system to the lift in the south end of the ”kreftsenteret” and take the lift up to UoB´s locality where the small-animal PET/CT-scanner is placed.
    2. From BBB: Animals are transported via the white zone in the 7th. floor (personell lift or transport lift) down to the 3rd. floor, over the bridge to HUS, 3rd. floor. Take the north lift (“vareheis” or “personheis”) in HUS down to the cellar. Proceed via the tunnel system to the south end of the building. From there take the lift at the southern end of the “kreftsenteret” up to UoB´s locality where the small-animal PET/CT-scanner is placed.
  6. Animals to be transported back from the PET-centre shall be stalled in a defined placement at the PET-centre until radioactivity has fallen to background level / 10 half -lives have passed for the specific isotope in use.
  7. Animals that are stalled at the PET-centre shall have the same level of care and milieu conditions as those animals housed in the Animal-house.
  8. When animals have been transported back to Vivarium/BBB they must be placed in a specified room (because of the danger of the import of pathogens).
  9. All areas that animals have been in direct contact with have to be disinfected afterwards.

Work with and maintenance of apparatus used for Gas anaesthesia of animals at UoB

Everyone who works with gas anaesthesia apparatus must be trained by an authorised instructor.


All anaesthesia apparatus must have a unique ID with which they are marked. All testing and maintenance of equipment shall be logged.

Control before use

The equipment must be visually inspected and pressure-tested before use.

Visual inspection Visual inspection involves looking for cracks, holes in hoses, couplings and valves. Defective hoses/couplings must be replaced.
Air-tightness inspection Procedures must be established for air-tightness inspections of equipment before use (on the basis of the supplier’s instructions). Instructions for carrying out air-tightness inspections must be kept together with apparatus and necessary equipment must be readily available.


Logs must be kept of service and maintenance of all anaesthesia apparatus. The following must be kept together with all anaesthesia apparatus: instructions for use and air-tightness inspection, information about who owns the equipment, and who to notify in case of faults. Never lend or borrow parts between anaesthesia apparatuses. The medical technical section at the hospital has long experience of repairing and servicing gas anaesthesia apparatus.

Extra equipment (hoses, couplings) shall be available. Hoses have a limited lifetime, this must be regarded in the maintenance plan for the equipment.


The head of department/head of section is responsible for ensuring that users receive adequate training.

The owner of the equipment is responsible for ensuring that manuals and instructions are available and that users are given training.

  • Individual users are personally responsible for testing equipment before use and for reporting any equipment faults and deficiencies to the person responsible. Issue Tracker or e-mail (

Other safety measures

  • Measurements of actual exposure levels must be carried out as part of the internal inspections.
  • Improvements of the training programme must be assessed.
  • It must be checked whether each apparatus has its own log book and whether it is clearly marked.
  • The need for periodic technical inspections of the gas anaesthesia apparatus must be assessed, contact Fellesavdelingen (6th floor BBB).

Policy for the use of gas anaesthesia

  • Pregnant women and women who plan to become pregnant must not work with gas anaesthesia.
  • Be especially alert when working with laughing gas (nitrous oxide).
  • Work must be carried out in fume cupboards under local ventilation.

Gas leakage detector

A gas leakage detector is used to detect leakages in apparatus, hoses and couplings. (Halogen "sniffer").

Two apparatus are kept on level 7 where gas anaesthesia apparatus are used:

  • one in the grey zone (laboratories), apparatus room 7B134aY (cupboard above the ultra-freezer).
  • one in the black zone (laboratories), climate room 7C111aY (cupboard above the sink)

Additional information and log form

  1. Basis for determining the administrative norm for isoflurane (Norwegian only)
  2. Basis for determining the administrative norm for laughing gas(Norwegian only)
  3. Log form anaesthetics