An increase in animal-related occupational injuries at a veterinary medical center (2008-2022)

Deidree S. Voss, Melissa V. Boyd, Jessica F. Evanson, Jeff B. Bender

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations

Abstract

OBJECTIVE To characterize animal-related injuries in veterinary medical center staff at a veterinary medical center. SAMPLE 706 hospital staff injuries. METHODS Deidentified injury reports were submitted to Human Resources from 2008 through 2022. Injury data collected included the injury description, date of injury, occupation, and worker's compensation claim information. Data were summarized by year, cause of injury, total cost associated with injury, and occupation. RESULTS There was an increase in injuries reported in recent years when compared to past years, with the plurality of injuries being bite injuries, specifically occurring on the hand, finger, and wrist area. Bite injuries had a higher average total worker's compensation cost paid to staff than striking injuries. There were more injuries reported by staff who had less experience working with animals. More injuries occurred during the summer months (June through September). There was not an unusual trend in the reporting of injuries due to COVID-19. Other injuries (eg, needlesticks and falls) were reported from only 2019 to 2022, but constituted a substantial burden for staff. CLINICAL RELEVANCE These findings can help stakeholders at teaching hospitals and veterinary clinics to take steps toward creating a safer workplace environment for employees. It is important to identify work hazards and provide proper training and prevention methods to reduce the risk of injuries, especially among less experienced employees. Proper prevention methods will help reduce worker's compensation costs for the teaching hospital and reduce the number of workdays missed by staff.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)376-382
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of the American Veterinary Medical Association
Volume262
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 2024

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2024 American Veterinary Medical Association. All rights reserved.

Keywords

  • animal bites
  • injuries
  • injury prevention
  • occupational
  • worker compensation

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