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Illness and disease in veterinary services

Explore the rules and regulations to help create a safe working environment.
Image of a dog about to be injected.
A veterinary service should commit to providing a safe working environment (for all staff, clients and animals).

As in any other professional service, all employees are expected to follow safety standards.

The following rules should be followed by all employees, again take your time to read through these, make note of them and reflect upon them. What do these look like in practice?

  • Follow clinic policy for handling chemicals, read, and follow all Safety Data Sheets
  • Keep all work areas clean and dry. This will reduce the chance of injury and contamination
  • Wear appropriate personal protective equipment correctly and place hazard signage if needed
  • All staff must be supplied with the correct equipment as needed, including earplugs for noise reduction
  • Prevent the possibility of spreading infection, particularly around the isolation ward
  • Walk carefully and use correct signage, particularly in wet areas, kennel rooms or the operating theatre
  • Avoid the overload of any electrical outlet
  • Staff must be conscious of steam when using equipment (autoclave) or appliances (coffee machine)
  • Staff must use restraining tools and techniques when dealing with aggressive animals
  • Staff must be very careful with lifting heavy items
  • Chairs and equipment must provide maximum support and be easy to use
  • Staff must report injuries immediately, and always be recorded in a logbook

Image of a veterinarian looking at a dog.

Illness and disease

In order to maintain staff safety at the workplace, it is important to advise the Practice Manager should anyone have, or develop a serious medical condition requiring medication (e.g., diabetes, asthma, epilepsy, or allergies).

If staff suspect they have any illness, they must inform the Practice Manager, who will implement any necessary precautions.

If something untoward is likely to happen because of an illness, other staff will then be able to provide more informed assistance.

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Health and Safety in Veterinary Services

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