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Poultry Processing Industry eTool
Plant-Wide Hazards
Receiving and Killing
Cutting and Deboning

Task 1: Skin Puller

Skin PullerEmployee uses pliers or similar tool to pull skin from breasts, thighs and legs.

Hazards of this task may include:

Standing for a long time
Hazardous Situation:
Standing for a long time reduces blood flow to the legs, forces isolated muscles to work for an extended time, and increases risk of fatigue and varicose veins.
Possible Solutions:
  • Install sit/stand stools, which allow employees to lean and have their weight supported while still remaining in an upright posture.
  • Rotate employees to tasks that do not require prolonged standing.
  • Provide shoe insoles that cushion the feet and spread foot pressure over a larger surface.
  • Provide a foot rest in front of employees so they can lift one foot, allowing them to continually shift their posture.
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Forceful hand exertions
Hazardous Situation:
Employees exert high finger force with both hands to open and close the tool and to hold the product while the skin is being pulled. Using gloves and handling cold product increases the amount of finger force that must be exerted. Repeatedly exerting high finger force can stretch and fray the tendon if there are not sufficient periods of rest. Repeatedly stretching the tendon can lead to tendinitis or tenosynovitis. Using standard in-line tools can cause employees to bend the wrist, which, in combination with high finger force, can cause contact trauma between the tendon and the bones and ligaments of the wrist. Contact between these entities can cause irritation and inflammation, leading potentially to tendinitis, tenosynovitis, and carpal tunnel syndrome.
Possible Solutions:
  • Provide appropriate hand tools.
  • Use a clamp or jig to hold chicken parts while pulling skin.
  • Use gloves with rough surfaces to hold chicken parts.
  • Rotate to non-hand intensive tasks.
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