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How can I prevent injury when working with animals?

If you are employed in a veterinary clinic, animal shelter or in the animal control capacity in Pennsylvania, you will most likely have questions on how to prevent a serious workplace accident from occurring. Fortunately, there are a few steps both you and your employer can take to reduce the risk of a damaging animal attack.

Safe animal handling is of paramount importance according to the Humane Society Veterinary Medical Association. Transportation is often a common occurrence when working with animals, and this calls for some level of restraint. Fearful animals will typically try to escape, which is why having a leash is vital to the process, particularly when transporting dogs. When using a leash, it’s important to never pull or jerk the animal in the desired direction. If a dog is showing dangerous behavior, using a muzzle in conjunction with a leash is also recommended.

Highly aggressive animals should be maneuvered with devices known as control poles, which will keep the animal at a safe distance while be transferred. Proper training is a must when you are using these devices, and additional assistance may be required for extremely agitated animals. When all else fails, you may need to sedate the animal for their own safety as well as yours.

There are certain practices you can employ to reduce injuries when working with animals. Never place your face directly in that of an animal no matter the behavior being exhibited. You must also be able to move quickly in the event an animal lashes out. You should avoid making an animal feel uncomfortable, such as by crowding or approaching from behind.

Speaking with an attorney after a workplace accident occurs can provide a greater understanding of your options. An attorney can go over the specific details of your case, and offer information on the available methods for seeking compensation. 

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