COVID-19 Safety Guidance for Workers in Meat Packing and Processing Plants

Source: 123RF/23725094s

Following outbreaks of COVID-19 among meat and poultry processing facility workers in the US, OSHA and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have released joint coronavirus-related interim guidance for meatpacking and meat processing workers and employers – including those involved in beef, pork, and poultry operations.

The guidance includes recommended actions employers can take to reduce the risk of exposure to the coronavirus.

Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health Loren Sweatt, SAID, “OSHA’s newest guidance document outlines steps employers can take to provide a safe and healthy workplace for workers in the meatpacking and processing industries.”

The interim guidance from OSHA and the CDC includes information regarding:

  • Cleaning of shared meatpacking and processing tools;
  • Screening employees for the coronavirus before they enter work facilities;
  • Managing workers who are showing symptoms of the coronavirus;
  • Implementing appropriate engineering, administrative, and work practice controls;
  • Using appropriate personal protective equipment; and
  • Practicing social distancing at the workplace.

Employers should place simple posters in all of the languages that are common in the worker population that encourage staying home when sick, cough and sneeze etiquette, and proper hand hygiene practices.

They should place these posters at the entrance to the workplace and in break areas, locker rooms, and other workplace areas where they are likely to be seen.