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American Meat Institute Unveils Safe Equipment Design Checklist

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Kansas City, Mo. – The American Institute (AMI) today unveiled a Safe Equipment Design Checklist aimed at ensuring that equipment used in meat and poultry plants is designed in compliance with key standards and minimizes hazards and injuries.  Developed by a special subcommittee of AMI’s Worker Safety Committee, the Checklist was unveiled at the Worker Safety, Human Resources and the Environment Conference, held this week in Kansas City.

The Checklist is the third of its kind that has been released by AMI.  The Equipment Design Checklist and Facility Design Checklist also have been extremely useful in ensuring that equipment and facilities factor food safety into their designs. This latest checklist is a natural extension of the concept into the critically important field of worker safety.

Using the checklist will help ensure compliance with Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA) rules and with relevant consensus standards like those published by the National Fire Protection Association, American National Standards Institute, American Society of Mechanical Engineers and others.

The checklist aims to foster design with a focus on preventing injuries and creating equipment that is worker friendly.  It covers 10 key principles of safe equipment design:  equipment guarding; design and engineering; energy control;  ergonomics; training; ingress/egress; hazard communication; confined spaces and hazardous locations; fall protection; and process safety management. The document may be downloaded as an Excel file from http://www.meatinstitute.org/ or http://www.workersafety.org/, AMI’s dedicated worker safety website. 

 “Our long-term goal is to eliminate hazards before they are created,” said AMI Worker Safety Committee Chairman Travis Ellis, corporate director of environmental, health & safety at Land-O-Frost, Inc.  “This checklist is an important compilation of strategies from some of the best minds in worker safety and I am confident that they will be meaningful and applicable for meat and poultry companies.”

Ellis also noted that the document is intended to be a “living document.”  “Ensuring workplace safety is a continual effort that requires continuous improvement,” Ellis said.  “The release of this checklist is a start and we aim to improve it over time based upon new information and user feedback.”

In addition to Ellis, the Worker Safety Equipment Design Subcommittee included Joe Allen, president & CEO of Allen Safety;  John Campbell, corporate safety, health & environment manager at Boar’s Head Provision Company;  Bob Christiansen, corporate manager of safety and security at  Hormel Foods Corporation;  Rick Clayton, regional safety manager at Cargill Meat Solutions;  Dan McCausland, director of worker safety at AMI;  Paul Rutledge, environmental health, safety and security director at Johnsonville Sausage;  John Tignor, corporate director of health, safety and security at Smithfield;  and Tom Young, corporate safety director at John Morrell & Company.

AMI’s Supplier Committee, which includes member companies who manufacture equipment, also reviewed the document and provided feedback to the subcommittee. 


The American Meat Institute (AMI) represents the interests of packers and processors of beef, pork, lamb, veal and turkey products and their suppliers throughout North America. Together, AMI's members produce 95 percent of the beef, pork, lamb and veal products and 70 percent of the turkey products in the United States. The Institute provides legislative, regulatory, public relations, technical, scientific and educational services to the meat and poultry packing and processing industry. http://www.meatinstitute.org/



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