Workplace Safety Violations Found at Indianapolis Animal Care Services Shelter

INDIANAPOLIS — The Indiana Occupational Safety and Health Administration (IOSHA) has issued $4,500 in proposed penalties against the city’s animal shelter for three workplace safety violations.

Records show the state inspected Indianapolis Animal Care Services, 2600 S. Harding St., between April 1 and July 7 and issued a safety order on July 29.

IOSHA found one serious violation and two non-serious violations, per the safety order. IACS told WRTV they are working to correct the violations by the August 31 deadline.

IOSHA conducted the initial inspection following a complaint that an employee suffered a dog bite that resulted in two separate amputations of the employee’s little finger, records show. Those records indicated that the employee was not wearing “bite or puncture resistant PPE” on his hands or arms when the incident occurred.

IOSHA issued a serious IACS violation for failing to require employees to use proper hand protection that exposed employees to puncture and laceration injuries.

Inspectors also found that the shelter’s workplace risk assessment was ineffective in that it did not address risks such as dog bites.

In response to the inspection and findings, the agency recommended that IACS provide employees with the proper training in animal handling and understanding animal behavior to reduce and eliminate the risk of dog bites. .

The third violation, considered non-serious, said IACS failed to provide copies of certain records (2019 OSHA 300A) within four business hours.

The safety order says the shelter corrected the problem with the records during the inspection.

Penalties of $4,500 have been deferred pending receipt of proof of corrective action.

IACS provided the following statement to WRTV Investigates:

IACS has made efforts to reduce the violations found. We have until August 31 to send the final report. Although OSHA does not have specific standards in place for animal shelters or animal handling, they were able to provide us with some useful tools.

We are currently testing different types of puncture resistant gloves for our employees to wear when handling animals. We will update the risk assessment once we have determined which product is best to protect our staff.

The issue with the 2019 OSHA 300A was a clerical error and was resolved immediately once it was brought to the city’s attention.

Benjamin M. Yerger