Send to

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Int Arch Occup Environ Health. 2005 Apr;78(3):230-8. Epub 2005 Mar 18.

Work-related accidents and occupational diseases in veterinarians and their staff.

Author information

  • 1Institution of Statutory Accident Insurance of the Health and Welfare Service, Pappelallee 35/37, 20089, Hamburg, Germany.



We assessed the occupational hazards in veterinary practice by analysing accident insurance data in order to stimulate strategies to prevent occupational accidents and diseases in veterinarians and their staff.


Approximately 10,000 veterinary practices comprising about 27,500 veterinarians and their staff are covered by the Institution of Statutory Accident Insurance of the Health and Welfare Service (BGW). Each year about 2,000 accident and occupational disease claims are filed by these veterinarians and their staff. The claims for the 5-year period from 1998 to 2002 are analysed in this paper.


For 2002, the incidence rate for accidents in the workplace was 105.4 per 1,000 full-time workers, a rate 2.9-times higher than for general practitioners of human medicine. When only severe accidents resulting in a loss of work time of more than 3 days were analysed, the relative risk increased to 9.2. Approximately 66% of the reported accidents are due to scratches, bites, or kicks from animals. Claims of occupational disease are filed 2.7-times more often by veterinarians and their staff than by general practitioners and their staff. The occupational diseases filed most often concern the skin (39%), followed by allergic respiratory diseases (30.5%), and infectious diseases (19.1%).


Prevention strategies for veterinarians should focus on accidents caused by animals. The prevention of occupational diseases should focus on skin diseases, respiratory disease, and infections.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for Springer
    Loading ...
    Support Center