WASHINGTON, DC – Deputy Assistant Secretary Jordan Barab met with top executives from the U.S. Poultry & Egg Association in Washington on Sept. 14 to discuss health and safety in the industry.
The meeting was held as OSHA continues its regional poultry emphasis programs, which have resulted in numerous citations in recent months, such as those issued following inspections in Alabama, Florida, and Texas.
Workers in the poultry industry face serious hazards – including dangerous equipment, high noise levels, exposure to infectious pathogens and hazardous chemicals such as ammonia, chlorine, and antimicrobial agents.
Poultry workers are also at high risk of developing musculoskeletal disorders from the repetitive motions they perform on the job. In fact, workers on poultry-processing lines are seven times more likely to develop carpal tunnel syndrome than the average U.S. worker.
In addition, OSHA’s new requirement to report amputations and hospitalizations has brought more poultry industry problems to our attention. OSHA is especially concerned with medical mismanagement, which can lead to the underreporting of injuries. Barab encouraged the executives to take advantage of OSHA resources, such as our on-site consultation services, to help find and fix hazards and improve safety and health at their workplaces.