Working at a zoo can be a fun and exciting job, especially for those who enjoy being around animals. However, it can also be dangerous and lead to fatal consequences if an employee has not been properly trained or makes an unconscious mistake. If you are interested in becoming a zookeeper at the Philadelphia Zoo, there are precautions you must take in order to stay safe while on the job.
Florida Zookeeper Seriously Injured by White Rhinoceros
Earlier this year, a zookeeper was seriously injured when a 4,000-pound rhino bumped her with his horn. This incident earned the Florida zoo a fine of more than $14,000. Upon investigation, the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) claimed that the Florida zoo had recognized safety hazards when it came to training and feeding the rhinos, and failed to protect employees from those hazards. The zoo also failed to notify OSHA within the required 24-hour timeframe that the worker was hospitalized.
Safety Tips for Zookeepers
Working at a zoo means putting yourself at risk of contracting certain germs and allergies. It also puts you at risk for slips and falls and animal attacks. Although animal attacks are rare, they do happen and, in some instances, can lead to death. In order to stay safe as a zookeeper it is important to follow certain safety precautions. These precautions include:
- Using proper lock-out procedures. It is important that you remember to lock enclosures and gates back when exiting. Failure to do so can lead to serious injuries for unexpected parties and even death.
- Being aware. You should always know where an animal is before you enter an enclosure.
- Wearing protective clothing and equipment whenever the occasion calls for it to protect you from injury and infections.
- Staying up to date with your vaccinations. These vaccinations include hepatitis B, rabies, and tetanus.
- Having warning signs at entry doors that inform other keepers that animals or people are out in an exhibit area.
- Holding regular emergency drills. It is important for zookeepers to stay on top of what they should and should not do during an emergency. Zookeepers should also be educated on how to properly take care of an injury while waiting for emergency medical technicians to arrive.
- Notifying other keepers via radio when moving an animal and waiting for the approval.
- Lifting from your legs instead of bending at your waist.
- Being aware of diseases and symptoms transmitted by animals and how to avoid contracting them.
- If an animal bites you through a protective glove, you should still assume that your injury has the potential to be infected. Do not assume that the glove has protected you against any transmittable diseases.
Philadelphia Work Injury Lawyers at Larry Pitt & Associates, P.C. Represent Clients Injured on the Job
If you were injured on the job, you may be entitled to workers’ compensation benefits. Contact Larry Pitt & Associates, P.C. to arrange a free consultation with an experienced work injury lawyer in Philadelphia. Submit an online contact form or reach us by phone at 888-PITT-LAW.
We serve clients throughout Pennsylvania from our offices in Philadelphia, Bensalem, Lansdowne, and Reading, including those in the areas of Berks County, Bucks County, Chester County, Delaware County, Montgomery County, Philadelphia County, and the communities of Abington, Ambler, Ardmore, Bala Cynwyd, Bensalem, Clifton Heights, Crum Lynne, Darby, Downingtown, Doylestown, Drexel Hill, Essington, Folcroft, Glenolden, Haverford, Havertown, Holmes, Kutztown, Lansdowne, Media, Merion Station, Morton, Narberth, Norristown, Norwood, Philadelphia, Prospect Park, Quakertown, Reading, Roxborough, Sharon Hill, Upper Darby, West Chester, and Wynnewood.