Protecting Workers of Animal Shelters

Employees and volunteers are the backbone of any animal shelter. The daily tasks, oversight of operations, and the love and care for the animals simply could not be done without valuable employees. However, these professionals are no strangers to the potential threats they face on a regular basis. From scratches and bites to exposure to harsh chemicals and diseases, the proper safety precautions are a must to secure your employees and reduce claims. Even more importantly, however, is ensuring your operation is secured with a comprehensive and custom-tailored Animal Shelter Workers’ Compensation Insurance program to mitigate risk and financial responsibility.

According to Pet Finder, Zoonosis is the term used to describe diseases that can be passed from animals to humans and vice versa; this is an issue of special importance to staff who work in animal shelters because of the unknown background and high incidence of disease in shelter animals. The good news is that these diseases can be easily prevented with a few straightforward rules.

  • Wash hands frequently- Before handling food or touching their mouths, your employees should wash their hands. This will prevent the spread of many diseases and infections, so be consistent about it!
  • Wear gloves when cleaning and disinfecting food bowls, kennels, litter pans, etc. When handling animals who are prone to biting, gloves can prevent teeth from piercing the skin and becoming infected, as well.
  • If your employees suffer an injury on the job, they should seek immediate medical attention.

Some other considerations to keep your employees safe on the job include:

  • Use iodide based disinfectants when washing hands.
  • Never eat in a location where dogs are trained or housed.
  • Never clean cages in an area where food is prepared or served.
  • Ask for assistance when handling nervous animals to avoid suffering a bite.
  • Do not permit your pregnant employees to change the kitty litter in order to prevent the contraction of Toxoplasmosis.
  • If you don’t know if a disease or condition is zoonotic or not, assume that it is and treat it accordingly. Wear gloves and masks, isolate the animal, wash hands, and DISINFECT, DISINFECT, DISINFECT, says the article.
  • All employees should be up to date with rabies vaccinations.
  • Staff should be well-versed on animal behavior, handling, and how to recognize disease transmission and prevention.

Taking these simple precautions can ensure the partnership between the animals and your staff is a harmonious one. As such a rewarding industry, we want to protect your animal shelter operation and your hardworking employees. At Vegan & Animal Professionals Insurance Agency (VAPI), we support vegan businesses and animal nonprofits. We bring our insurance expertise and personal lifestyle to help safeguard your operation from the risks one faces when running a business. For more information, contact us today at (866) 599-8182.