The poultry industry welcomes the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s development of voluntary ergonomic guidelines for poultry industry workplaces, poultry industry groups said today.
“We were pleased to work with OSHA in developing these guidelines,” said Steve Pretanik, the National Chicken Council’s director of science and technology. “The industry has extensive experience in ergonomics, and many companies already have guidelines in place. We contributed to this project the lessons we learned in how to avoid ergonomic problems and how to deal with them when they occur.”
The poultry industry has focused on ergonomics since the 1980s and has emphasized workstation redesign, personnel training, and early intervention and treatment as ways to minimize musculoskeletal problems in the workplace. “The improvement came about through industry’s recognition of the problem and commitment to research and development of workable solutions,” Brie Wilson, National Turkey Federation’s government relations specialist.
“These voluntary guidelines build on existing industry programs that offer employers and employees the flexibility to address ergonomic issues in the workplace in a cooperative, non-adversarial, and nonjudgmental way,” she said.
According to data from the Labor Department’s Bureau of Labor Statistics, the incidence rate for ergonomic problems in the poultry industry fell by 61 percent from 1994 to 2001.
“This demonstrates the industry’s longstanding commitment to ergonomic programs to help protect poultry industry’s workers,” Pretanik said.
The National Chicken Council represents integrated chicken producer-processors, the companies that produce, process and market chickens. Member companies of NCC account for almost 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, which increase demand for its members’ products and protect and enhance the ability to effectively and profitably provide wholesome, high quality, nutritious turkey products.