We get many questions about the OSHA rules for veterinary practices. Sometimes the questions deal with interpreting a standard. Sometimes the question simply is "How do I do that?" Sometimes the question is to clarify an issue with conflicting advice. No matter what the question, we're here to help.
We've taken some of the most common questions and used excerpts from The Complete Veterinary Practice Regulatory Compliance Manual and past issues of The Veterinary Safety & Health Digest to answer them here for you. If you have a question that you'd like answered, send us a message and we'll do our best to get you the correct information. Of course, all questions are confidential and we'll never let anyone else know who asked it, but if we think the question is one that a lot of folks would like to know the answer to, we may use it in The Digest or on this site without revealing the identity of the originator.
Just click on one of the questions below to get the answer!
Can OSHA really "shut us down" and do they collect fines at the time of an inspection?How often should we update our safety plans?
How do we conduct an investigation after an accident?
What is the Globally Harmonized Standard (GHS) and does it apply to a veterinary hospital?
What's the difference between an MSDS and an SDS?
I know we are supposed to label containers of chemicals but what's the best system to use?
Do I need to label each and every drug bottle with a hazard materials label?
I've heard there was a change to the label rules recently. Do I need to change the labels we use in our hospital?
Is it true that we can't use a faucet-mounted eye wash device?
Are there any special rules covering the use of drugs in the veterinary practice? What about chemotherapy and hormone drugs?
We still use glass thermometers in some procedures and occasionally we break one. What's the proper way to clean up a broken thermometer?
It's going to be hard for us to afford installation of fans or scavengers to remove fumes from some chemicals, so is it alright to just use masks or respirators instead?
Does OSHA really have regulations covering animal bites or scratches?
Are employee's pets or hospital mascots who roam freely in the hospital considered a hazard?
Does OSHA require rabies vaccinations for veterinary staff members?
What is "Noise Hazard" in a veterinary hospital?
Are there specific isolation procedures we must follow when an animal is diagnosed with a zoonotic disease?
What constitutes a "good" hand washing?
Are hand sanitizers as effective as hand washing?
What are the safety rules for using surgical or therapy laser in the veterinary practice?
What are the safety rules for taking radiographs in the veterinary practice? Are they the same for digital or dental radiographs?
How does the Needlestick Safety Prevention Act affect veterinary practices?
Can we clean and reuse disposable needles and syringes?
Is it against OSHA rules to recap a needle? How can we do it safely?
In an emergency evacuation, can staff members be instructed to "grab an animal on the way out?"
Do fire extinguishers expire?
The most recent demographic data shows that veterinary medicine students currently are comprised of:
2% African American,
1% Asian/Pacific Islander
less than 1% Native American
more than 90% Caucasian.
As of 2014, the AVMA reported there were 102,583 veterinarians in the United States:
Unknown or not answered: 187