Federal agencies Food

NIOSH seeking input on lockout/tagout for food manufacturing industry

Washington – NIOSH is looking to hear from companies with established lockout/tagout programs to help small businesses and employees in the food and beverage processing industry.

In a July 7 blog post, NIOSH researchers highlighted the high rates of injuries and illnesses in meatpacking, poultry slaughtering and processing, and other facets of food manufacturing. Many of the machine-related injuries occur because of a failure to use lockout/tagout procedures: From 2003 to 2013, 28 fatalities and 227 serious injuries were related to lockout procedures in food manufacturing, according to OSHA data.

Researchers are asking stakeholders from any industry to share stories about which type of lockout/tagout program they have in their business, resources they used to implement their program that might help small businesses improve their practices, what worked best, and the top challenge to maintaining their program.

“Pace equals profit in this industry, but workers need to stay safe while maintaining their pace,” the researchers wrote.