Playing safe – Needle sticks on the farm
January 13, 2016
Reducing your risk when treating animals
Treating animals can lead to injuries that result in lost work time, costly medical bills and long-term disabilities. Some of the most serious injuries sustained when treating animals are needlesticks. Self-injection or absorption of the medicine can result in injuries, illnesses and death.
Common animal treatments that present risks to human health include:
- Prostagladins (Lutalyse or Estrumate)
- Micotil (Tilmicosin)
- Eazi-Breed CIDR
- Medicines that present an allergy risk to you, such as penicillin
- Topical insecticides (python dust)
- Anti-parasite treatments (Eprinex)
Always read the literature that is included with these medicines and products for safe handling techniques and indications of risk.
Restrain the Animal
When you separate an ill or injured animal from the herd, it may become anxious. To avoid injury from the animal, take the following steps.
- Keep equipment near so you aren’t forced to reach across or under the animal to use it.
- Avoid standing where the animal is likely to kick. Stand on the opposite side of where the animal will experience pain, as they tend to kick in that direction.
- Lean next to the animal so that you are able to sense its movement.
- Avoid reaching through restraint equipment to give injections. The animal could lunge forward and cause the needle to be broken or cause the needle to puncture you.
When using needles, be cautious and follow these safety guidelines.
- Keep needles capped whenever possible.
- Do not recap or reuse needles.
- Dispose of used needles in the appropriate disposal container.
In the Event of a Needlestick
- Report the injury to your supervisor immediately.
- Consult a doctor regarding the risk of contracting tetanus or the risk of allergy.
- Store emergency numbers in your mobile phone or post them near the fixed phone.