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These Boots are Made for Protectin'

After OSHA charged it with violations, a New York shelter improved safety procedures

After OSHA charged it with violations, a New York shelter improved safety procedures

istockphoto.com/Teresa Azevedo
When employees at the Stevens-Swan Humane Society in Utica, N.Y., clean kennels, safety comes first. When they apply a quaternary ammonium product, use the power washer, or wash dishes, they wear some combination of boots, goggles, gloves, and a mask. If an employee doesn’t follow the rules, she’ll receive a warning, a suspension, or—if she’s broken the rules before—a pink slip.

Sound excessive? Not according to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). The federal agency requires measures like these at workplaces where staff use hazardous chemicals—and that includes animal shelters. Stevens-Swan implemented its strict safety policies after an OSHA inspection in April led to citations and a $1,000 fine.

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