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Review, assessment and prioritization for an occupational health and safety management system in a veterinary teaching hospital using the ANSI/AIHA Z10 standard




Koesterich, Miriam, author
Brazile, William Joseph, advisor
Blehm, Kenneth D., committee member
Hendrickson, Dean A., committee member

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There are many hazards that could cause employee injuries and illnesses in veterinary hospitals. An effective way to control hazards in any organization is the implementation of an Occupational Health and Safety Management System (OHSMS). However, there are no published reports of any veterinary hospital that has successfully implemented an OHSMS using the ANSI/AIHA Z10 Standard. In 2005, the voluntary standard, Occupational Health and Safety Management Systems (ANSI/AIHA Standard Z10-2005) was published to assist organizations in implementing an OHSMS. This research was focused on the development of the initial stage of an OHSMS at Colorado State University (CSU)'s Veterinary Teaching Hospital (VTH), following the ANSI/AIHA Standard. The VTH was audited in 2003 and 2009 revealing significant health and safety hazards, yet there was little improvement in health and safety performance between the two audits. The rationale for this study was to improve the health and safety performance at the VTH as well as provide a template that other veterinary hospitals may use to develop and implement an OHSMS. Through a health and safety assessment and employee interviews at the VTH, the researcher identified hazards; conducted a comprehensive hazard analysis and risk assessment of the service areas; identified applicable regulations, standards, and requirements; prioritized health and safety issues based on risk; and recommended protective strategies for each service area to lower the health and safety risk. Per the risk assessment and prioritization strategy of the 20 service areas that were evaluated, Large Animal Surgery was the number one service area priority followed by Livestock and Small Animal Surgery. Identified issues in these service areas were related to confined spaces, lack of lock-out tag-out procedures, chemical storage, and zoonotic disease. The service area with the lowest priority rating was Reception/Call Center/Business Office/Medical Records. Except for the Maintenance Service Area risks, all other serious health and safety risks affected all or the majority of the hospital and included violent patients, anesthetic waste gas, zoonotic disease, and lasers.


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