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Is the Veterinary Industry Dangerous?


Workers’ compensation laws are in every state, and employers have obligations to provide safe work environments. Some jobs are considered more dangerous than others. In the veterinary field, many employees are subject to hazards. In fact, workers’ compensation claims in the veterinary industry lead to eight million dollars each year.

What are Common Injuries Seen in the Veterinary Field?

When taking into account the unpredictability of pets, the risks of getting bitten or scratched are high. There are also other hazards for veterinary workers. Some of the most common work injuries in the veterinary field include:

Bites and Scratches

Being skilled enough to communicate with and heal pets does not guarantee the animals will behave when they are being treated. A bite or scratch, especially from a non-domesticated animal, may easily lead to an infection.

Most workers’ compensation claims among veterinary workers are related to animal bites. The risk of infection is also a concern if it is not properly treated. Although treatment is needed right away, proper equipment can prevent injuries. In fact, most veterinary employees who were bitten or scratched reported not wearing protective gear.

Contact Injuries

Animal attacks are not just limited to bites or scratches. Larger animals can leave severe injuries. For example, a kick from a horse is particularly dangerous and can cause great harm to a veterinary worker. Although animal attacks like these are rare, they can be debilitating.

Treatment Hazards

Working with medicine exposes a worker to various gases, chemicals, and other harmful substances. Breathing in certain chemicals, like anesthesia or insecticides, can cause short-term and long-term issues. Serious problems from untreated work injuries include dizziness, respiratory problems, and internal damage.

Sprains and Strains

Lifting a large animal is not always simple. Often, veterinary workers must lean or crouch down multiple times a day to treat animals. Bending and lifting can cause muscle strains, neck and back pain, and these injuries can take several days or more to heal.

How Can Veterinary Workers Stay Safe?

The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) implements rules and regulations to protect workers in the veterinary field. These guidelines include rules about proper equipment, elimination controls, engineering controls, administrative controls, and personal protective equipment (PPE).

Proper training is essential in all industries. Workers should be kept up to date on any compromising situations or potential hazards. Administrative training is also highly important. Workers need to be trained on how to operate equipment. Employees must learn all emergency procedures. All employees in veterinary offices should be well-informed.

If a veterinary worker is injured at their job, they might be eligible for workers’ compensation. After a work accident, a veterinary employee should contact a lawyer who will help them with a claim.

Downingtown Workers’ Compensation Lawyers at Wusinich, Sweeney & Ryan, LLC Protect the Rights of Injured Veterinary Employees

There are many hazards in the veterinary industry. If you are a hurt veterinary worker, you may be eligible for compensation. Our respected Downingtown workers’ compensation lawyers at Wusinich, Sweeney & Ryan, LLC protect injured workers in all industries. Call us at 610-594-1600 or contact us online for a free consultation. Located in Exton, Pennsylvania, we serve clients throughout Downingtown, West Chester, Exton, Coatesville, Phoenixville, Malvern, Lyndell, Wagontown, Uwchlan Township, Parkesburg, Chester Springs, Lancaster County, Reading, and Morgantown.