The U.S. government and the poultry industry joined forces today in a voluntary effort to improve safety in the workplace through worker training, ergonomic improvements and information sharing.
Under terms of an agreement signed today, companies in the chicken and turkey industries will work together with the U.S. Labor Department’s Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) to implement a new Alliance on worker safety.
“The poultry industry is proud to join with OSHA in a new Alliance that will place additional emphasis on worker protection and safety in the industry,” said George Watts, President of the National Chicken Council. “The Alliance will help us improve training on worker safety, especially in ergonomics, and will help us reach out to employees whose first language is other than English.”
“The poultry industry is pleased to align with OSHA to further provide safe workplaces for the poultry industry,” said NTF President Alice L. Johnson, D.V.M. “The industry has extensive experience in training and developing employees to ensure their safety and health. Through this Alliance with the government, the industry will continue to contribute the lessons learned in how to focus on the appropriate workstation redesign, personnel training, and early intervention and treatment as ways to minimize musculoskeletal problems in the workplace.”
On behalf of their organizations, Watts and Dr. Johnson signed an agreement with Jonathan L. Snare, Acting Assistant Secretary of Labor for OSHA. Frank Cruice, Chairman of the industries’ Joint Safety and Health Committee, also participated in the ceremony.
“We look forward to working with OSHA in this creative and positive new Alliance to take the industry’s already very good performance in this area and make it even better,” Watts said.
Officials said under the agreement the industries will sponsor ergonomics training sessions, develop new programs for implementing ergonomic improvements in workplaces, and share information among companies on the best approaches to improving workplace safety, among other initiatives.
“The Alliance will also assist our companies in making better use of existing government resources and programs, such as the Voluntary Protection Program and the State Plan and Consultation Project,” Dr. Johnson said.
The National Chicken Council represents integrated chicken producer-processors, the companies that produce, process and market chickens. Member companies of NCC account for approximately 95 percent of the chicken sold in the United States.
The National Turkey Federation is the advocate for all segments of the U.S. turkey industry, providing services and conducting activities that increase demand for its member’s products. The federation also protects and enhances its member’s ability to effectively and profitably provide wholesome, high quality, nutritious turkey products.