NewsChannel4 recently reported on a work injury that impacted a zoo keeper at the Oklahoma City Zoo. The unfortunate zoo keeper was accidentally stung by a cownose stingray on August 12. This event highlighted the unexpected dangers that can pop up in even routine work situations.
The zoo employee was actually not even in the tank when the event occurred: she was clipping the barbs off the stingray when it reached out and stung her. This is a routine event that the employee performs regularly. The pain was immediately and she was taken to a nearby hospital for treatment. Thankfully, she is expected to be okay.
Cownose stingrays are generally not very aggressive, but they are poisonous. The spines at the base of their tail, which is what hit the zookeeper, can cause severe pain that can be debilitating. Thankfully, it’s almost never fatal.
What is Being Done
Right now, there doesn’t seem to be any legal ramifications for what has occurred. The zoo is currently reviewing its guidelines for handling stingrays and has advised visitors that the cownose stingray is not a serious threat. They also claim it is the first time a zoo keeper has been stung by a stingray in that zoo.
Options the Keeper May Have
If there is any proof that the safety guidelines regarding stingray handling were ineffective or poorly written, the keeper may have a case of neglect on her hands. Even without that potential, there’s also a good chance she has a case for earning worker’s compensation while she recovers from her injuries.
If you suffer from an accident like this during a routine moment at work, please contact us to find out if there was any wrongdoing by your employee and what you can do to make things right again.