OSHA, Wisconsin Veterinary Medical Association alliance aims to reduce employee exposure to hazards associated with animal handling

September 28, 2016

OSHA Area Director Ann Grevenkamp (left) and Wisconsin Veterinary Medical Association Executive Director Kim Brown Pokorny meet to sign an alliance to promote worker safety.

Participants: U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration
Wisconsin Veterinary Medical Association

Background: OSHA and the WVMA established an alliance to provide the association’s members with information, guidance and access to training resources to protect workers’ safety and health.

The alliance will emphasize reducing injury and illness on the job and will focus training on common hazards faced by veterinary clinic workers, including exposure to pharmaceuticals, anesthetic gases, sterilization agents, x-ray radiation and animal behavior. Training will also cover hazards related to ergonomic stressors associated with the lifting and handling of animals.

OSHA and WVMA will work together to promote awareness of the agency’s rulemakings, enforcement initiatives and safety campaigns, including an understanding of workers’ rights and employer responsibilities. The partners will also speak, exhibit and appear at OSHA or WVMA conferences, forums and roundtable meetings on hazards veterinary clinic workers face on the job.

Quote: “OSHA’s alliance with WVMA allows us to work together with veterinary industry employers, workers and leaders to promote awareness and provide training to improve worker safety in Wisconsin clinics and field operations,” said Ann Grevenkamp, OSHA’s area director for its Madison office. “The people who care for our pets and other animals face many unique hazards including work-related musculoskeletal disorders, which are among the most frequently reported causes of lost or restricted work time. Working together, we can develop methods to reduce such injuries.”

Additional Background: Through its Alliance Program, OSHA works with groups committed to worker safety and health to prevent workplace fatalities, injuries, and illnesses. These groups include unions, consulates, trade or professional organizations, businesses, faith- and community-based organizations, and educational institutions. OSHA and the groups work together to develop compliance assistance tools and resources, share information with workers and employers, and educate workers and employers about their rights and responsibilities.