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Aust Vet J. 2000 Nov;78(11):751-8.

Physical, chemical and biological hazards in veterinary practice.

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  • 1School of Public Health, Curtin University of Technology, Bentley, Western Australia 6102.



To identify major occupational hazards encountered by veterinarians and their staff in practice in Australia.


A literature search of Medical (MEDLINE), Occupational Health and Safety (OSHRAM) and Nursing and Allied Health (CINAHL) electronic data bases plus continual monitoring utilising the Uncover alerting system using the key words, 'occupational injury', 'occupational disease' and 'safety' linked with use of the word 'veterinarians' has found relevant articles. Personal communication with people who have undertaken studies on occupational safety in veterinarians elicited further information.


Veterinarians often sustain animal-related injuries, the most common of which are dog and cat bites, cat scratches and being hit or crushed by large animals. The most costly to treat include strains and back injuries. Most veterinarians treat themselves. There is no single reporting system for injuries or disease in veterinarians and reported cases may greatly underestimate the total. There is a need to assess accurately the occupational hazards in veterinary practice, to determine the actual occurrence of injuries and to develop strategies to prevent them.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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