Occupational Safety for Veterinarians

The job of a veterinarian isn't always an easy one, and it comes with certain occupational risks that we have to address in order to stay safe. We're all aware of the dangers of working in close contact with animals. But there are other risks as well. These can include contact with hazardous substances and equipment, including everything from rubbing alcohol to oxygen tanks to products used in hoof repair. There's also potential for being exposed to dangerous chemicals such as phosphine gas while treating patients.

These pages provide information to help veterinarians and practice owners protect themselves and their employees. From guidance on personal protective equipment to specific information about precautions needed in dealing with animals that have ingested rodenticides, this important information can help keep you safe on the job.

Personal Protective Equipment

Personal protective equipment is worn to safeguard a person from physical and health hazards. It includes everything from exam gloves to totally encapsulating chemical-protective suits, and the type of equipment needed depends on the specific risks involved in a given situation. Learn how to assess the risks and protect yourself and your veterinary team.
 

Workplace Hazard Communications

Employers need to be aware of legal requirements for workplace hazard communication. Make sure your practice is compliant.
 

Phosphine Product Precautions

Treatment of animals suffering from phosphine poisoning, including those poisoned by some rodenticides, can pose risks for veterinarians and their staff.
 

Rabies Pre-exposure Vaccination

Rabies exposure is an occupational hazard for veterinarians and support staff who have animal contact. Pre-exposure rabies vaccines can help provide protection against rabies infection, but don't replace good preventive measures


Additional information can be found in the CDC's veterinary safety and health pages.