Ergonomics Musculoskeletal disorders Food Manufacturing

OSHA launches emphasis program for poultry industry in South

poultry processing plant

Photo: iStock/Thinkstock

Dallas – Citing the increased risk of injury and illness among poultry workers, OSHA has launched a Regional Emphasis Program focusing on the poultry industry in four southern states.

The program went into effect Oct. 26, and targets poultry employers in Arkansas, Louisiana, Oklahoma and Texas in an effort to reduce musculoskeletal disorders and ergonomic stressors. For the first three months of the emphasis program, OSHA said it will conduct educational and prevention outreach activities to help employers bring worksites into compliance. Afterward, the agency will inspect for working conditions, recordkeeping, and safety and health programs.

“Our goal is to reduce crippling injuries, such as musculoskeletal disorders, and to ensure the industry records all occupational injuries and illnesses accurately,” John Hermanson, OSHA’s regional administrator in Dallas, said in a press release.

The emphasis program will run for one year, but can be extended. MSDs are common among poultry workers, and OSHA said these workers are 2 times more likely to be injured and 6 times more likely to become ill while on the job than other private-sector workers.

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