Workplace injuries are varied and can be the result of mishaps that range from slip and falls to mechanical malfunctions. But you can now add pets to the list of causes of injury: pets are responsible for 400 workers’ compensation claims per year in Oregon alone.
Since 2014, cats and dogs accounted for almost 2,000 workers’ compensation claims in Oregon. Universities, pet care facilities, and veterinary offices face the highest rates of injury. That being said, pet injuries are responsible for many workers’ compensation claims in the healthcare industry. There were 30 cat-related injuries in Oregon since 2014 as the result of accidents in nursing homes, hospitals, home healthcare, and residential care facilities.
Dog injuries are common in industries where services are provided in peoples’ homes, such as plumbing, AC contractors, and heating. And as more establishments become dog-friendly, dog injuries are increasing in restaurants as well.
If you are an employer or employee looking to mitigate risk in the workplace, there are a few things you can do to increase workplace safety. First, always ask a pet owner if it is safe to approach the pet and/or touch it. Second, be mindful that certain gestures can alarm pets, such as reaching through a car window to touch an animal. Third, approach any pet slowly or wait for it to approach you. Fourth, only consider petting the animal if it approaches you and appears calm. Lastly, if you are unsure how the animal perceives you, it is better to just leave it alone and finish the job.