Veterinary clinics must comply with the requirements of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). Without these requirements, many workplaces would operate under unhealthy and unsafe conditions. Compliance with OSHA by veterinary clinics increases the safety of patients and employees alike. To ensure that veterinary practices comply with OSHA requirements, the Department of Labor mandates periodic inspections. During these OSHA inspections, evaluators take pictures, examine records, and assess compliance with OSHA requirements. In this article, we examine common reasons that a veterinary practice may fail an OSHA inspection.
OSHA requires veterinary practices to adhere to specific documentation procedures. Among these are numerous requirements related to recordkeeping. For example, veterinary practices must file paperwork related to staff, patients, equipment, and medications. Common violations of OSHA’s documentation requirements involve missing paperwork, poorly organized filing systems, and the use of noncompliant forms. In addition, a practice’s failure to maintain required training certifications online can result in an OSHA inspection due to OSHA’s requirements regarding training.
OSHA imposes specific labeling protocols on veterinary practices. These protocols ensure that all chemicals display the necessary safety and warning information. Specifically, OSHA requires all chemical labels to display the following:
- Information about the company
- Hazard symbols
- Product identification
- The word “danger” or “caution”
- Hazard statements
The failure of veterinary practices to properly label chemicals creates potential dangers, including poor handling, product misuse, and difficulty finding the correct chemical or medication when needed.
Finally, OSHA sometimes sends Certified Safety and Health Officials to veterinary practices without forewarning. When a veterinary practice fails to keep its building clean and in safe condition, it risks failing its inspection. For example, building inspectors can penalize a veterinary practice for anything from cluttered workspaces to loose bolts. And this applies even if the practice has plans in place to address these issues. It is for this reason that every veterinary practice should maintain its building properly.
Consequences of Failing an OSHA Inspection
Failing an OSHA inspection can have serious consequences on a veterinary practice, including large fines and citations. However, with the proper policies and procedures in place, the odds of failing an OSHA inspection are significantly reduced. Therefore, if you are a veterinary practice owner, you should strongly consider contacting a veterinary practice consulting attorney for assistance in developing legally sound policies and procedures for your practice.
Contact a Veterinary Practice Consulting Attorney
If you’d like to ensure that your practice remains compliant with OSHA requirements, you need a veterinary practice consulting attorney in your corner. At Mahan law, our experienced veterinary practice consulting attorneys will work with you to establish procedures that ensure compliance with state and federal rules and regulations. With an experienced veterinary practice consulting attorney on your side, you can ensure that your practice, patients, and employees remain protected. Please contact us today to arrange a free initial consultation.