Zoo Employee Workplace Injuries

Sponsor - Los Angeles Zoo

University: Claremont Graduate University

Status: Completed

The Los Angeles Zoo takes great pride in their healthy work environment and outstanding workplace safety record. The well-being of their employees, volunteers, visitors, and the animals within their collection is their top priority. As such, they aim to make improvements in workplace safety where it is possible to do so. Due to finite resources, steps must be made to provide analysis necessary to best apply these resources to protect employees. The goal of the project was to assist in identifying patterns of recurring or repetitive instances of injuries by type of work activity or by work location.

As a result of this project it was discovered that there is no single location where injuries occur, but rather hotspots throughout the zoo such as the parking lot with falls, trips, and slips possibly playing a larger role than thought. Roughly one-fourth of all the injuries in the dataset and about one-third of those resulting in time lost may be the result of poor biomechanics. Training staff on how to properly lift, use good ergonomics, and similar may have a significant impact and Animal Keepers, Gardener Caretaker, Custodians, and Special Program Assistant IIs should receive special attention as the vast majority of injuries are incurred by people in these positions. Injuries fluctuate with most occurring between Tuesday and Thursday and March, July, August and October having the highest incidences and November the lowest. Injuries as a whole have been trending down since records first started to be kept. Because of this, sweeping changes are not recommended as they could cause more harm than good.