Zoologist Safety

Dangerous animals necessitate using extreme caution among zoologists.

Zoologists are animal experts with specialized training working with animals in zoos or other settings. They are also scientists who study the behavioral and health pattens of animals and look out for the well-being of animals they work with. Because they handle wild animals, zoologists need to be concerned about their own safety and the safety of other workers. Zoos and universities that offer zoology degree programs typically create manuals to ensure the safety of workers and students.

Basic Hazards

Zoologists work with a number of different chemicals and equipment that make safety precautions of utmost importance. Some of these hazards are due to the flammability of chemicals such as methanol. Similarly, zoologists frequently use oxygen, and many other chemicals used become volatile when mixed with oxygen. Zoologists must take extreme care to know exactly what chemicals react in volatile manners. Other basic hazards zoologists must be aware of include live viruses, sharp objects such as syringes and electronic equipment such as microwave ovens, which can heat liquids hot enough to cause burns or explosions if a chemical is mistakenly inserted.

Evacuation Planning

In the event of an emergency, zoologists and other workers must have an evacuation plan in place. Wild animal escapes necessitate the need for evacuation techniques and a knowledge of safe locations in the facility. Evacuation plans must be in place for earthquakes and other types of natural disasters. Zoologists should keep fully equipped first-aid kits on hand as well.

Advanced Chemical Safety

Chemical use requires the proper labeling and storage in approved containers. In general, chemical storage shelves should be neatly stocked, and workers should avoid overcrowding to prevent chemical spills. Secure lids tightly and make labels easy to read. Store flammable liquids in small amounts and kept away from open flames. Keep acids and bases apart.

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Radiation Safety

Zoologists sometimes use radioactive materials, so they must implement safety procedures to avoid unnecessary and dangerous exposure. Special training and even licensing usually is necessary to handle or receive radioactive materials. Those with the necessary qualifications to do so must have knowledge of which types of isotopes can be used, how many of each to use and what to use them for. Clearly mark areas where radioactive materials are used; be sure they are inaccessible to unauthorized individuals.