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Receiving and Killing

Task 4: Kill Room Attendant
(Backup Killer)




backup killerThe kill room attendant monitors the automated poultry killing process and uses a knife to kill any birds missed by the machine.

Hazards of this task may include:

Standing for a long time
Hazardous Situation:
Standing for a long time can cause pain and strains in the legs and lower back. Common types of footwear worn in this area (e.g. rubber boots) do not provide much arch support.
Possible Solutions:
  • Install sit/stand stools, which allow employees to lean and have their weight supported while still remaining in an upright posture.
  • Install height-adjustable stands so cuts can be performed at mid-chest level.
  • Rotate to tasks that do not require prolonged standing.
  • Provide shoe insoles that cushion the feet and spread foot pressure over a larger surface.
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Falls, back injuries and cuts
Hazardous Situation:
Employee stands in 2-3 inches of blood, which creates slippery floor conditions, resulting in a worker falling while holding a knife.
Possible Solutions:
  • Provide effective drainage to prevent standing blood.
  • Provide rubber boots with high traction soles.
  • Sheath knives before entry to and exit from work areas.
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Blood on employee
Hazardous Situation:
During the processing of birds in this area, blood may get in the worker's face and eyes creating a hazard of infection and exposure to disease.
Possible Solutions:
  • Wear appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE), including mesh gloves, face shields, and protective clothing.
  • Develop and follow good housekeeping procedures.
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Restricted exit
Hazardous Situation:
Employee is surrounded by equipment and product that may block sightlines where access from and to work areas is restricted. Access points may not be obvious in cases of fire or other emergencies.
Possible Solutions:
  • Keep exists free and clear at all times.
  • Clearly and properly mark exits.
  • Implement emergency action plan.
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Ergonomic hazards from use of knives
Hazardous Situation:
Workers use a knife to perform this cutting task. Factors such as poorly fitting gloves, slick handles, inappropriately sized handles, or dull blades can increase the force that must be used. Minimize repetitive or prolonged exertion of finger force when performing cutting tasks, which can stress the tendons and tendon sheath of the hand.
Possible Solutions:
  • Keep knives sharp and in good condition.
  • Remove damaged knives from service.
  • Use knives appropriate for the task.
  • Provide properly sized gloves.
  • Provide knives with a handle loop so they can remain in hand without the employee actively gripping the handle.
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