OSHA Compliance

Giant Panda bites its keeper at the San Diego Zoo – Cal/OSHA Investigates

Giant Panda bites its keeper at the San Diego Zoo – Cal/OSHA Investigates
Cal/OSHA is a state agency that is solely responsible for ensuring and enforcing worker safety. It is now going to investigate into an incident which involved a female giant panda biting its keeper at the San Diego zoo.

Krisann Chasarik of Cal/OSHA has said that the agency will go ahead and review the safety practices at the zoo and check to see whether the workers were being sufficiently protected from the pandas and other animals and what the zoo does in case of an injury caused to its employees. An OSHA investigator will also examine the scene where the incident took place and will interview all the other employees.

The investigations could lead to civil penalties, but it is expected to take a few months to come to a decision. The incident occurred on Sunday morning when the keeper was trying to coax the female panda into returning to her sleeping area but was bitten and clawed and was taken to the hospital for treatment. The incident has been listed as an “attack” by Cal/OSHA.

However, Cal/OSHA does not have the authority to show or tell the zoo how to treat its animals. This authority rests with other state and federal agencies that are directly involved with wildlife. Last year, the zoo was hit with a $2,700 fine for 4 safety violations for an incident in which a keeper fell and fractured her leg when a zebra tried to run away out of fright. The keeper was attempting to restrain the zebra on a leash.

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