OSHA alliance

Special

OSHA alliance: Poultry industry representatives on hand for the recent signing of an alliance between the poultry industry and OSHA, included, front row, left to right: Matt Spencer, director of human resources and safety programs for the U.S. Poultry & Egg Association; Joel Brandenberger, president of the National Turkey Federation; Loren Sweatt, deputy assistant secretary of labor for OSHA; and Mike Brown, president of the National Chicken Council.

WASHINGTON — The poultry industry has long recognized the importance of establishing collaborative relationships to promote employee health and safety practices and to develop programs to enhance poultry workplaces.

As such, the industry noted that it’s pleased the U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) has agreed to an alliance to share information, guidance and access to training resources that will help further improve the significant gains made in poultry worker safety during the past 25 years.

The shared goals for the alliance include raising awareness of health and safety practices and programs through outreach and communication in addition to training and education.

Loren Sweatt, deputy assistant secretary of labor for OSHA; Mike Brown, president of the National Chicken Council; Joel Brandenberger, president of the National Turkey Federation; and Matt Spencer, director of human resources and safety programs for the U.S. Poultry & Egg Association, recently signed an alliance in Washington, D.C., formalizing a relationship to work collaboratively to improve safety practices in the poultry industry. Specifically, the organizations will share available injury, illness and hazard exposure data to help identify areas of emphasis for training, outreach and communication activities. 

The group of poultry industry representatives discussed the industry's recent history of safety and health initiatives, including the industry's ergonomics, medical and training approach to reducing repetitive injuries, advancements in processing equipment technology, current on-going research and employee outreach activities.

These combined activities have resulted in an 83 percent reduction in recordable injuries in poultry processing plants since 1994, the groups noted. With this newly formed alliance, it’s the goal of the industry to continue to drive these rates down and help promote the overall health and safety of employees and team members.

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