This protocol describes the methods to achieve a safe and healthy work environment for practice team
members, clients, and patients. It addresses safety, security, injury prevention, smoking, emergency
procedures, handling hazardous materials, and pregnancy.
Each animal hospital and every task possess inherent risks to safety and health. Wet floors, heavy objects,
anxious patients, noxious chemicals, and exposed machinery are common hazards. Prevention of events
that might lead to injuries and illness will occur by identifying, evaluating, controlling, and eliminating
potential hazards. Attention to safety and health measures is to be incorporated into each task. Awareness
and compliance with government regulations that address safety and health are required.
Before entering an area of the clinic, and prior to performing any task, each practice team member must be confident in their understanding of hazards associated with that area and those tasks. Such understanding is developed by general orientation and training that is given to all employees when first employed and at later times as necessary.
Orientation and training will be given by the office manager. Practice members may perform a task only
after they have been given instructions on how to carry out the task in a safe manner. No practice team
member will be criticized or discharged because they decline to enter an area or perform a task they believe is unsafe.
Security risks arise generally form the public. They are greatest when coming and going to and from the
practice, when handling money or controlled substances, and when dealing with clients that re upset,
inebriated, or mentally disturbed.
Team members that need to arrive or to leave the clinic during dark hours will be escorted out by the
Employees should act in a manner that ensures their safety while dealing with any threatening person.
Follow orders of the assailant and call 911 as soon as possible.
The most common cause of injury is from patients that bite, scratch, kick, or strike while being handled.
Other injury causes might be due to falling, lifting, or being struck by falling objects.
Patients should be handled only by trained staff members. Owners may not hold their pets while being
Practice team members should wear personal protective equipment that is appropriate to the task they are
involved in. Wet floors should be properly marked. Heavy objects should be lifted appropriately as to not
strain the back. Objects that could fall should not be stored more than four feet above the floor.
There is no smoking or tobacco use permitted on the County Seat Animal Hospital property.
Emergency medical personnel should be summoned in all instances of serious human medical emergency. CPR and first aid should be administered only by a trained individual.
Employees should be familiar with the location and appropriate handling of all fire extinguishers in the clinic. Human safety is the number one priority in any situation. The fire department should be called from outside of the building (via cell phone or phone at other location). Upon a fire alarm, guide all clients out of the building and walk to the flower shop across the street and call the fire department. The office manager will account for all employees. If there is time left, save the animals.
Insecticides, cleaning products, and chemotherapeutic agents are common hazardous materials. All staff that handles any hazardous materials must be thoroughly familiar with the properties of the material. This is maintained through education and labeling. All hazardous materials must be marked appropriately.
All staff that are pregnant or that believe they may be pregnant should inform the office manager immediately. Special fetal safety aids and possible reassignments need to be discussed. Fair labor and non-discrimination laws will be followed.
The office manager is responsible for oversight of all personal safety and health issues.