Cat Haven At Odds With Cal/OSHA - KMPH FOX 26 | Central San Joaquin Valley News Source

Cat Haven At Odds With Cal/OSHA

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A little more than a year after a deadly accident at 'Project Survival's Cat Haven', OSHA is trying to make changes that workers say are dangerous.

Dale Anderson is the founder and executive director of 'Project Survival's Cat Haven'. He insists that OSHA's orders to change procedures at the cat sanctuary are dangerous.

"I'm concerned about my animals and workers, and OSHA does not seem to have that concern with us," says 'Project Survival's Cat Haven' Found and Executive Director, Dale Anderson.

Anderson says it all started in March 2013 when an intern keeper was accidentally killed by a lion. Several government agencies investigated and said that 'Cat Haven' was not at fault and a gate was accidentally left open by the keeper. However, Anderson says OSHA still wants them to change how they run things.

"It's dangerous for the people and the cats that work here if I allow OSHA to implement these policies," says Anderson, "They have no experience, no expertise with animals, and I have 23–years of experience. They discount my experience like I don't know what I'm talking about."

OSHA issued a special order telling 'Cat Haven' they have to change two things. Install locks on all the gates and doors of large enclosure areas, including gates that only the cats use. The doors also have to be self-closing.

OSHA also wants a two keeper system to be used when large cats are shifted from one area to another, and whenever a keeper enters the feeding or enclosure area.

OSHA issued this statement to KMPH Fox 26 News, "Cal/OSHA's only interest in this matter is worker safety in California, including the safety of workers who care for exotic animals. Cal/OSHA's counsel has offered to negotiate with 'Cat Haven' on appropriate measures to ensure that safety, but 'Cat Haven' has not responded. We invite 'Cat Haven's' legal counsel to contact us so that we can resolve this matter in a way that best protects workers."

OSHA also wanted 'Cat Haven' to require keepers to carry pepper spray just in case they are attacked. The two sides settled on keepers carrying a fire extinguisher and a horn.

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