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IACS faces penalties after IOSHA inspection finds three safety violations following a dog-biting incident

IACS says they are working to correct the issues before the end of the month
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.
Posted at 4:09 PM, Aug 10, 2022
and last updated 2022-08-10 18:13:54-04

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, according to the safety order. IACS tells WRTV they are working on correcting the violations before their Aug. 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 pinky finger, records show. Those records indicated that the employee was not wearing "bite or puncture-resistant PPE" on their hands or arms when the incident happened.

IOSHA issued a serious violation to IACS for not requiring employees to use appropriate hand protection which exposed employees to puncture and laceration wounds.

Inspectors also found the shelter’s workplace hazard assessment was ineffective in that it did not address hazards such as those from dog bites.

In response to the inspection and findings, the agency has recommended that IACS provide employees the proper training for handling of animals and understanding animal behavior to reduce and eliminate the hazards of dog bites.

The third violation, considered non-serious, said IACS did not provide a copy of certain records (2019 OSHA 300A) within four business hours.

The safety order notes the shelter corrected the records issue during the inspection.

The $4,500 in penalties have been deferred pending receipt of evidence of corrective action.

IACS provided the following statement to WRTV Investigates:

IACS has been working to abate the violations that were found. We have until August 31 to send the final report. While OSHA does not have standards in place specific to animal shelters or animal handling, they were able to give us some helpful tools.

We are currently piloting different types of puncture-resistant gloves that our employees are required to wear when handling animals. We will update the hazard assessment once we determine which product is best to protect our staff.

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

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