Whatever activities are undertaken in the response to oiled wildlife, the health and safety of the responders comes first. If the health and safety of people involved in the response cannot be guaranteed in relation to the apparent risks, no activity should be undertaken.
Risks when working in a wildlife response
Rescue efforts (beaches, boats)
Precautionary measures to be taken
Safe working conditions
Risk assessments need to be made for each part of the operation, resulting in a site safety plan covering each work site.
The safety of individuals is based on an understanding and practice of five basic principles:
- maintaining safe working conditions and procedures;
- understanding occupational health;
- understanding the potential hazards of working with oiled wildlife;
- wearing adequate personal protective equipment (ppe);
- practicing good personal hygiene.
As a minimum staff should have:
- Field team: coveralls, rubber boots, hard hats
- Working with animals: coveralls, gloves, safety glasses
- Washing animals: waterproof clothing, gloves, safety glasses.