Healthy Animal Worker Clinic
The University of Washington’s Department of Environmental and Occupational Health Services and the Harborview Medical Center Occupational and Environmental Medicine Clinic are excited to announce the creation of the new Healthy Animal Worker Clinic! The Healthy Animal Worker Clinic (HAWC) is the nation’s first occupational medicine clinic dedicated to the occupational health care of animal workers.
In Washington State, approximately 24,000 workers have regular contact with animals or animal products. These workers—including those involved in veterinary care, animal shelters, zoos and aquaria, farms, and laboratories—face a wide variety of workplace hazards, including biological and chemical exposures, musculoskeletal strains, workplace allergens, compassion fatigue, stress, animal bites, kicks, and scratches. Female animal workers may be exposed to reproductive hazards that could affect a pregnancy. Many of these hazards are unique to animal workers and need specialized healthcare services. However, while this segment of the workforce is at high risk for occupational illnesses and injuries, animal workers may lack adequate access to occupational health services.
The aim of HAWC is to improve the health of animal workers in Washington State by providing enhanced preventive and workers compensation care management. It will also help pilot preventive safety measures that can be implemented in animal worksites by offering worksite inspections and personnel training, leading to model preventive programs.
The Healthy Animal Worker Clinic is a program of the Harborview Medical Center Occupational and Environmental Medicine Clinic, a longtime pioneer in occupational health care. It is located on 3 West Clinic at Harborview, 325 9th Ave, Seattle, WA 98104. To set up an appointment with HAWC, please call the HMC Occupational Medicine Clinic at 206-744 9372 and indicate that the appointment is for an animal worker. For more information, please visit https://www.uwmedicine.org/locations/occupational-and-environmental-harborview, or email Vickie Ramirez at firstname.lastname@example.org