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Author(s): F. Xavier Malcata
Angela C. Macedo
Vânia T. Mota
João M. Tavares
Osvaldo L. Machado
Marinela P. Cristo
Olga N. Mayan
Title: Work environment and occupational risk assessment for small animal Portuguese veterinary activities
Issue Date: 2017
Abstract: The professional work of small animal veterinary staff encompasses a wide diversity of demanding tasks. This has prompted a number of studies covering physical, chemical, biological, ergonomic or psychological hazards, as well as their health effects upon veterinary workers. However, such results were obtained from self-reported surveys (via paper or online). This study reports the identification of potential hazards and provides a risk assessment of 15 veterinary clinics based on data from walk-through surveys, interviews with workers, and quantification of indoor air quality parameters including concentration of volatile organic compounds (total, isoflurane and glutaraldehyde). The risk arising from X-ray exposure was unacceptable in seven clinics; X-ray examination should be discontinued in the absence of isolated radiation rooms, poor safety practices and lack of personal protective equipment. Ergonomic-related hazards and work practices should be revised as soon as possible, considering that improper postures, as well as moving and lifting heavy animals are major causes of musculoskeletal disorders. The risk levels were, in general, small or medium (acceptable) with regard to exposure to physical hazards (such as bites, scratches, cuts, and burns) and biological hazards. It was observed that the indoor air quality parameters including temperature, respirable particulate matter and total volatile organic compounds do not indicate a comfortable workplace environment, requiring clinics' attention to keep the safe environment. The veterinarians and nurses were exposed to isoflurane (above 2 ppm) during surgery if an extractor system for waste gas was used instead of a scavenging system. Finally, veterinary workers did not possess any type of training on occupational safety and health issues, even though they recognized its importance.
Document Type: Artigo em Revista Científica Internacional
Rights: restrictedAccess
Appears in Collections:FEUP - Artigo em Revista Científica Internacional

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