Wednesday, April 19, 2017

ERC Trainees Visit Animal Shelter to Assess Workplace Risks

Occupational Health Nursing and Occupational Health at the Human-Animal Interface (OHHA) trainees participated in the Spring ERC training field trip this year. They visited the Seattle Animal Shelter in the Interbay area to tour the facility and discuss all of the occupational health issues that can occur in this unique setting. Some of the identified occupational health and safety risks included interaction with unknown animals, structural challenges, biological materials, slippery surfaces, accoustic controls and loud barking, teeth and claws, and compassion fatigue.

ERC trainee Max shared his experience on the field trip:

"There were a lot of best practices and safety implementations at the shelter. Examples include protocol for handling aggressive animals, isolation chambers prior to introducing new animals to the ones at the shelter for disease protection, and treatment options for the animals to prevent any disease outbreaks both to the people and animals. Other safety measures included housekeeping, which was very visible. All rooms in the facility were clean and dust free, which helps prevent exposures."

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