Being an animal clinic worker has its perks, especially if you are an animal lover. However, being an animal clinic worker also comes with its fair share of hazards.
Here are just a few of the dangers you face on the job and what you can do if you are injured on the job.
Bites and Scratches
Whether you’re dealing with a feline friend or a canine companion, there’s always the risk of getting nipped or clawed. And while most pets are just trying to show their love, sometimes they can get a little too excited or scared and, as a result, bite or scratch you.
Zoonotic diseases can be passed from animals to humans, and animal clinic workers are unfortunately at a higher risk of contracting them. While most of these diseases can be vaccinated against, it’s still important to be aware of the risks.
Whether you’re moving heavy equipment or lifting a heavy bag of dog food, there’s always the risk of injuring your back or shoulders. And since animal clinic workers are often required to lift heavy objects, it’s important to take care of your body and warm up before starting your shift.
Exposure to Chemicals
From the cleaning products used to disinfect the clinic to the medications administered to the animals, there are a lot of chemicals floating around animal clinics. And while most of these chemicals are safe when used properly, exposure to them can still cause irritation or other health problems.
Injuries from Animal Handling Equipment
From syringes to scissors, there are a lot of sharp objects in animal clinics. And while most workers are careful when using these tools, accidents can still happen. You may accidentally stick yourself with a needle while giving a dog a shot or accidentally cut yourself while trimming a cat’s nails.
How can you stay safe on the job?
Wear Protective Gear
When working with animals, it’s important to wear gloves, a mask, and other protective gear. This will help reduce your risk of being bitten or scratched, and it will also protect you from exposure to chemicals and other hazardous materials.
Be Aware of Your Surroundings
This means knowing where the nearest exit is, keeping an eye out for potential hazards, and being aware of the animals you’re working with. For example, if an animal seems agitated or aggressive, it’s important to give them space and avoid getting too close.
Know Your Limits
If you’re not comfortable doing something, don’t do it. This is especially true when lifting heavy objects or handling aggressive animals. If you’re ever in doubt, it’s always better to ask for help than to try and do something you’re not comfortable with.
Can I Seek Compensation If I am Injured on the Job?
Generally, yes. If you are injured while working at an animal clinic, you are likely eligible for workers’ compensation benefits. These benefits can help pay for your medical expenses and lost wages, and they can also provide you with coverage if you’re unable to return to work. However, it’s important to note that pursuing a workers’ compensation claim can be a lengthy and complicated process, so it’s always best to seek the help of an experienced workers’ compensation attorney.
At the Law Office of James M. Hoffmann, we have more than three decades of experience handling workers’ compensation claims, and we know what it takes to get the benefits you deserve. If you’ve been injured on the job, call us today for a free case evaluation.
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