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Dogs in the office

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safetygal
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Dogs in the office

Post by safetygal »

Hi all

This is an emotive subject, I have my opinion on this but I will keep that to myself for now. I have been asked to do a risk assessment for a pilot trial to have dogs in the office environment.

The FM Manager has agreed with the director to keep the dogs to a minimum of 5 pre-booked at a time and located to one area of the building only.

I am now completing the risk assessment, my consideration list so far - can you think of any others?

Allergies and phobias
Trip hazards from dog leads/dog beds
Dogs must be kept on leads
dog bites - first aid, owner liability insurance
dog mess - owner clean up
Food / water - bowls and storage (can owners store in fridge?)
no access to kitchen areas
disruptive/excitable dogs
Dogs to be included in Fire Risk Assessment
What to do in the event of an emergency. go back for dog if owner has gone to the toilet?
Employer has duties under Health and Safety legislation while dog is on premises
Complaints process to be included in policy
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Re: Dogs in the office

Post by Chief White Halfoat »

Just curious, why would you want dogs in the office?
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safetygal
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Re: Dogs in the office

Post by safetygal »

Chief White Halfoat wrote: Wed Jul 21, 2021 12:05 pm Just curious, why would you want dogs in the office?
I dont - but keeping my opinion out of this for now as it doesn't matter and it really isn't my decision

if you want to look at it from a holistic way - it supports relaxation, encourages mindfulness and reduce stress while boosting job satisfaction and morale (a study was carried out in the US)

it can also make your dog happier

I look at it from a Health and safety way...
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Re: Dogs in the office

Post by ScottD »

You could add dog walking - what are the areas like outside?
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Re: Dogs in the office

Post by witsd »

I think an awful lot of the solutions would be " 'Dog issue X' is the owner's responsibility". I certainly wouldn't be delaying an evacuation to go and get a dog, sorry.

You would need to make sure there was adequate space so that the dog isn't in the way, and probably avoid carpeted areas for hygiene and allergy issues, but otherwise, enjoy it - it's an interesting one!

Oh, and good luck with office productivity - gotta stop and give those good boys and girls some pats. :D
We often think that when we have completed our study of one we know all about two, because 'two' is 'one and one.' We forget that we still have to make a study of 'and.'
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Re: Dogs in the office

Post by quality_somerset »

Don't forget COVID, pets have been known to spread transmission of the virus.
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Re: Dogs in the office

Post by safetygal »

Productivity is luckily not a safety issue, I wont worry about that.

although the dog is the owners responsibility, the employer does have a legal H&S responsibility for the animal whilst it is on our site

I agree on the evacuation, but you know what owners are like! they will go back for Rover, regardless of what we say

Dog walking - yes, good one. I have to keep them on the lead. We are in Thames Valley Park (a nature reserve so full of bunnies, squirrels, and deer etc)

good shout on Covid, I will research that one
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Re: Dogs in the office

Post by Safety »

I would also think about
dog fights :argue:
Barking
Flees
Zoonoses
Cultural Sensitivities
Distract employees for their work

Just some I thought of in addition to your list, I understand the reasons why it would be 'nice' to have pets in the workplace but from a Health and Safety perspective and hope common sense prevails....

What about other pets......cats, rabbits, fish lol :lol: :lol: :lol: only joking
The light at the end of the tunnel has been turned off due to budget cuts..............
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Re: Dogs in the office

Post by safetygal »

Safety wrote: Thu Jul 22, 2021 1:56 pm I would also think about
dog fights :argue:
Barking
Flees
Zoonoses
Cultural Sensitivities
Distract employees for their work

Just some I thought of in addition to your list, I understand the reasons why it would be 'nice' to have pets in the workplace but from a Health and Safety perspective and hope common sense prevails....

What about other pets......cats, rabbits, fish lol :lol: :lol: :lol: only joking
Thanks Safety! these will help me

I have pointed out that a) this is a risk assessment for dogs only - no other animals allowed b) assistance animals have a separate risk assessment
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Re: Dogs in the office

Post by billinom8s »

Why not contact somewhere like a blind school? They would have risk assessments for the dogs on site and may be able to point you in a direction that provides H&S R/A information alongside keeping the dog owners happy and you armed with answers from an organisation that deals with dogs in the workplace as a daily event.

Also the covid thing, it's not like the dogs suffer from it, they are a surface that the virus can live on for a period of time, same as a counter, door handle, carpark ticket machine etc.
The dog, if carrying it, would have got it from it's owner, who would also be in the office, would have been in the office for days prior and odds on would have touched a lot more surfaces around the building than Rover. I think you can take that idea off the table.
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Re: Dogs in the office

Post by Messy »

We often have working dogs in our office, or should I say in AC vehicles in an underground car park.

During a drill I discovered that staff in a meeting travelled 10 floors to the basement car park - passing numerous exits and walking against the flow of 1000s of others attempting to leave- in order to reach their pooch. That plan was quickly stopped

But its an example of human behaviour where people will do daft things to rescue loved ones - including pets.

There was fatal fire at a top floor nursery in a shopping centre . Parents fought their way upstairs to get their kids. Some died, even tho the nursery staff successfully evacuated the children. Best practice is that nurseries in such locations are located on the ground floor- like IKEA Di

So if people bring their dog to the 6th floor and attend a dog free meeting or canteen on the ground floor, expect owners to ignore fire procedures
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Re: Dogs in the office

Post by stephen1974 »

quality_somerset wrote: Thu Jul 22, 2021 1:06 am Don't forget COVID, pets have been known to spread transmission of the virus.
Evidence or speculation?

From the CDC

At this time, there is no evidence that animals play a significant role in spreading SARS-CoV-2 to people. Based on the available information to date, the risk of animals spreading COVID-19 to people is considered to be low.
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