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Should Managers Let Workers Bring Pets to the Job Site?

Should Managers Let Workers Bring Pets to the Job Site?

If you’re a manager overlooking a job site, then you know how important it is to put safety first for your employees operating heavy machinery. While some employees like bringing pets to a job site, managers have to consider both the benefits and consequences of allowing animals in the workplace. And with National Dog Day coming up on August 26, now seems like the right time to address policies for pets at the job site. Equipment Trader is discussing the pros and cons of allowing pets, as well as recommended pet policies.

Benefits of Allowing Pets at the Job Site

Allowing employees to bring their pets to the worksite could provide several advantages to your company. First, it communicates to your employees that you care for their preferences and want to improve the work environment. Bringing a pet to a workplace can boost the company culture and increase employee loyalty with your company—helping you retain talent for the long run. Suddenly, going to work with a new or used skid steer or other heavy equipment at the job site seems even better when the pet is nearby. Second, employees can directly benefit from bringing pets to work, helping to promote overall wellness in the workplace and lower stress. Boosting employee wellness and job satisfaction, pet-friendly policies can make your place of work desirable when it comes to recruiting new labor to drive your business. 

Drawbacks of Allowing Pets at the Job Site

There are a number of downsides that could result from allowing employees to bring animals to the worksite. Animals, such as dogs, have to be well behaved and obedient while your employees are working to efficiently meet company goals and standards. For example, if you’re running an ag business on a farm, labor has to stay focused while operating new or used tractors. Certain pets can be a distraction and constant safety hazard. Plus, you can expect disruptions throughout the workday when your employees have to take a pet for a walk so it can relieve itself, or feed and take care of the animal. They also have to stay aware of how pets can make noise and be a distraction while operating machinery. 

Depending on various local, state, and federal laws, you could be liable if a pet causes an accident at the worksite or bites another worker. Employees have to become skilled at looking for potential hazards and taking precautions to eliminate danger to employees and their pets. And there’s always the possibility that a pet could cause damage to your equipment, which could cause a dispute. Finally, while considering the health and safety of onsite workers, you also need to think about the wellbeing of the animal, asking if the dog or other pet can itself remain safe at the worksite, especially if work is happening outside in extreme summer heat.

Policies for Pets at the Job Site

When considering whether or not to allow pets at the job site, consult both your legal counsel and your insurance company before setting any pet policies. Having animals on the worksite involves numerous and significant risks to persons and property, including personal injury, property damage, and potentially death. Equipment Trader is not an expert on animal worksite safety, and our content constitutes general suggestions and should not be considered professional advice for your business.

Whether you’re in agriculture or construction, If your company decides to allow workers to bring pets to the worksite, managers need to enforce specific rules to protect your equipment and assets, prevent legal issues, and ensure the employee’s responsibility for the pet. Rules and regulations should be provided to your employees through official documentation. Here are some policies to consider.

  • Consider a limit on the number of pets an employee can bring to the job site. It’s probably not a good idea for an employee to have more than one or two pets present at the work location at any given time.
  • Ensure the pet is secure and situated in a designated space at the worksite to prevent it from roaming or running around.
  • Never operate heavy machinery near the pet; instead, create a designated space for your work that’s marked by boundaries such as fencing, gates, cones, etc.
  • Some companies ban specific dog breeds, as well as exotic pets that require complicated accommodations to ensure pets are not endangered while on location of work.
  • Determine how cleaning or repair fees related to the pet will be paid if there’s damage at the worksite. You may choose to charge employees a security deposit that could pay for such costs, or be refunded if not needed. You may also choose to take costs of damage out of an employee’s paycheck.
  • For dogs, managers should consider whether the dog is easy to train, if it’s aggressive or anxious, how active the animal needs to be, and whether or not it will have enough space when it’s at the job location.
  • Employees must have proof of their pet’s vaccinations, veterinary certificates, identification tags, a photo of the pet for identification, and consider microchipping their animal.
  • The pet needs to be house-trained, meaning it should not chew, scratch, or cause other damage to the job location, and should know to relieve itself outside or in a litter box.
  • The employee should train the pet so that it obeys basic commands, such as “stay” and “come.”

 

Proper Care for Pets

While we’ve pointed out tips for taking care of pets on the jobsite, managers should also provide employees with guidance on proper care for their pet.

  • Make sure the job site is ready to safely accommodate the pet.
  • Have a water bowl/container accessible that won’t spill or cause damage.
  • Ensure the animal has enough space to safely and comfortably move.
  • Use a barrier or travel crate to prevent the pet from dangerously accessing parts of the worksite.
  • Employees must have a leash for the pet and keep their identification and vaccination tags nearby.
  • Employees must take breaks for the pet to eat, drink, and relieve itself as needed.
  • Employees need to monitor the pet; neglect is unacceptable.
  • Keep pets safe in summer heat; never leave them in enclosed spaces in excessive heat, and provide shade for the animal when working outdoors.
  • The worksite should be regularly cleaned with the accompanying pet.

 

Managers have much to consider when it comes to whether their company should allow their employees to bring their pets to the worksite. While there can be advantages to implementing pet-friendly policies, there are significant drawbacks to consider as well. 

If you’re looking for your next new or used piece of heavy machinery, be sure to see all the listings nationwide at EquipmentTrader.com.

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Ryan Miller
Ryan Miller

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