WAWHI Resources

Worker Safety and Health in Small Animal Care

Workers in the field of small animal care – including veterinary staff, kennel workers, pet groomers and more – are exposed to a variety of hazards at the workplace.  Hazards can include chemicals (such as anesthetic gases), biological hazards such as allergens, or physical hazards from animals and machinery, such as bites, scratches and ergonomic injuries.  Researchers at the Center for One Health Research found that workers in small animal care in Washington frequently experience work-related injuries caused by their interactions with animals (click here to read more).  

If you work or manage employees in the field of small animal care, we want you to be aware of the resources to educate yourself and other employees about occupational safety and health here in Washington State.  See below for some of the resources available for small animal care workers:

Veterinary Staff

Washington Labor & Industry Safety and Health Topics: Veterinary Hazards (Link)

CDC/NIOSH: Veterinary Safety and Health Page, including links to Hazard Prevention and Infection Control resources and information on Physical, Chemical, Biological and Other Hazards (Link)

American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA): Occupational Safety for Veterinarians (Link)

Animal Groomers

Professional Pet Groomers and Stylists Association Standards of Care, Safety & Sanitation (Link)

PetMD: Safety Tips for the Professional Groomer (Link)

Laboratory Animal Workers

OSHA QuickFacts for Laboratory Safety: Working with Small Animals (Link)

“OSHA and Lab Animal Care” Resource from Vince MacLeod, Certified Industrial Hygienist (Link)

“Occupational Health and Safety in the Care and Use of Research Animals”, Institute of Laboratory

Animal Resources, Commission on Life Sciences, National Research Council (Link)

UCSD “Occupational Health and Safety Hazards in the Animal Research Setting” (Link)

Animal Rescue Workers

OSHA Animal Rescuer QuickCard (Link)

Animal Care Workers / Animal Handlers (General)

U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Animal Care and Service Workers: Work Environment (Link)

To see the results of our Washington Animal Workers Health Initiative (WAWHI) or Preventing Injuries in Veterinary Occupational Tasks studies and stay updated on our work at the Center for One Health Research, visit our “Publications” page at http://deohs.washington.edu/cohr/publications.  If you have experienced a work-related injury or illness or are concerned about a hazard in your workplace, please contact Washington State Department of Labor and Industries.