Ensuring the safety of our employees is critically important. The North American meat and poultry industry must comply with strict requirements under the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration [hyperlink to OSHA.gov] and similar agencies in Canada and in Mexico. The industry also has developed voluntary guidelines that go beyond simply meeting requirements – they aim to exceed them. The data show a sustained record of improvement in the industry.
- Compliance Assistance: Hispanic Employers and Workers
- National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health
- NIOSH Ergonomics Research and Information
- U.S. Citizen and Immigration Services
- Voluntary Protection Program
- OSHA's Meat Packing Page
- Bureau of Labor Statistics
Occupational Safety & Health Administration
- Occupational Employment Statistics
Safe Equipment Design Checklist
The Safe Equipment Design Checklist is aimed at ensuring that equipment used in meat and poultry plants is designed in compliance with key standards and minimizes hazards and injuries.
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.
It covers 10 key principles of safe equipment design:
- equipment guarding
- design and engineering
- energy control
- hazard communication
- confined spaces and hazardous locations
- fall protection
- process safety management
The document may be downloaded as an Excel file from here.
Workplace environment in the meat industry is both challenging and extremely variable. Work involves wide-ranging use of sharp tools, temperature extremes, often close quarters, some unique safety issues, and a number of sanitation and food safety/quality parameters. Because the industry provides food for the nation's tables, work must be done in a manner that assures the production of wholesome, quality products. Among other things, this process includes ever-present USDA inspection services, in addition to company quality control efforts.
Presentations and Guidance
- Occupational Safety and Health Administration
- Bureau of Labor Statistics
- Hexavalent Chromium Standard Update, June 2010
- OSHA Fall Protection/Personal PPE Revisions Proposed Rule, May 2010
- National Safety Council
Ergonomics, and the application of ergonomics principles, is a significant issue for the meat industry. The goal of ergonomics is to reduce, to a practical minimum, the physiological cost of doing work. Jobs in the meat industry remain relatively labor-intensive, and require work and workplace designs to accommodate a wide range of employees. Application of ergonomics is one of the principal ways in which AMI members can protect their workers and reduce the incidence of occupational injury. In addition, use of ergonomics consistently promotes the achievement of higher levels of quality, productivity and worker retention throughout the workplace - all of which are of great importance to the industry.