OSHA regs, injuries in the spotlight

By Michael Fielding on 2/15/2016

The poultry industry has taken several hits recently, between last week’s report from a nonprofit advocacy group in Arkansas decrying the conditions of workers and the renewed scrutiny of the safety of poultry line jobs by both government and non-profit activist organizations.

“[The Occupational Safety and Health Administration] is concerned that the extent of poultry workers’ injuries may be far greater than the elevated risks reported by employers and seen in Bureau Of Labor Statistics data,” an OSHA spokesperson wrote in an email to Meatingplace.

It’s estimated that compliance to OSHA’s lockout/tagout (LOTO) standard prevents 120 deaths and 50,000 injuries annually, but the lack of proper LOTO in the food industry resulted in 28 fatalities and 227 serious injuries between 2003 and 2013, according to OSHA.

In the case of controlling hazardous energy, OSHA standard 29 CFR Part 1910.147 addresses the practices and procedures that are necessary to disable machinery and equipment to prevent the release of energy while employees or contractors perform servicing or maintenance activities.