Evaluation of factors associated with work-related injuries to veterinary technicians certified in Minnesota

Leslie D. Nordgren, Susan G Gerberich, Bruce H Alexander, Timothy R Church, Jeff B Bender, Andrew Ryan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


Objective-To evaluate the magnitude and consequences of work-related injuries and associated factors among veterinary technicians certified in Minnesota. Design-Cross-sectional survey. Sample-1,427 certified veterinary technicians (CVTs). Procedures-Surveys were used to collect data on demographics, personal characteristics, injury occurrences in the 12 months prior to survey completion, and injury consequences. Annual injury rates were estimated on the basis of demographic and work-related characteristics. Risk of injury associated with various factors was estimated by calculation of incidence rate ratios, controlling for multiple factors. Results-465 of 873 eligible CVTs reported 1,827 injury events (total and bite injury rates, 237 and 78 injuries/100 persons/y). Primary injury sources were cats and dogs, and most injuries occurred during animal restraint or treatment. Self-reported most severe injuries involved bites; cuts, lacerations, or scratches; bruises or contusions; and abrasions. Injury consequences included treatment and restricted work activity. Risk of work-related injury was lower for CVTs who worked < 40 h/wk than for those who worked ≥40 h/wk. The risk was higher for CVTs working in small animal or mixed mostly small animal facilities and lower for those working in mixed large and small animal facilities, commercial or industry operations, and government or regulatory facilities, compared with CVTs in colleges or universities. Handling 4 to > 6 (vs < 4) animal species during the 12 months prior to the survey and belief that injuries are not preventable were also associated with higher risk of injury. Conclusions and Clinical Relevance-Several factors associated with the risk of workrelated injury among CVTs were identified. Beyond these risk factors, investigation of additional exposures is integral to relevant intervention strategies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)425-433
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of the American Veterinary Medical Association
Issue number4
StatePublished - Aug 15 2014


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