Sept. 2, 2015
Deficient medical management leads to musculoskeletal injuries at Delaware
poultry processing plant
OSHA sends warning to Harbeson, Del., company
Employer name: Allen Harim Foods LLC, a poultry processing plant located in Harbeson, Del.
Hazard Alert Letter issued: A hazard alert letter was issued on Aug. 7, 2015
Investigation findings: Occupational Safety and Health Administration inspectors identified deficiencies in the facility's medical management program that contribute to the likelihood of workers developing serious musculoskeletal disorders. In addition to deficient staffing; inadequate supervision; lack of experience and training on the part of the healthcare providers; and providers working outside their scope of practice, the employer uses a first aid station to evaluate and treat MSDs. Inspectors also found that the employer did not refer injured workers to qualified outside healthcare providers for evaluation and treatment when appropriate and that workers were discouraged from reporting symptoms and injuries.
In June, OSHA cited Allen Harim Foods for a total of nine violations, including a serious citation for the company's failure to address the musculoskeletal disorder hazards.
Quote: "The medical management practices at this facility create an environment of fear and distrust," said Erin G. Patterson, OSHA area director in Wilmington. "The use of the first aid station to prevent injuries from being reported as required by law undermines the purpose of on-site treatment and leaves employees at risk of further injury. Discouraging workers from reporting injuries is unacceptable."
Information on poultry processing: https://www.osha.gov/SLTC/etools/poultry/index.html
To ask questions; obtain compliance assistance; file a complaint; or report amputations, eye loss, workplace hospitalizations, fatalities or situations posing imminent danger to workers, the public should call OSHA's toll-free hotline at 800-321-OSHA (6742) or the agency's Wilmington Area Office at 302-573-6518.
# # #
Release Number: 15-1737-PHI (osha 15-068)
U.S. Department of Labor news materials are accessible at http://www.dol.gov. The department's Reasonable Accommodation Resource Center converts departmental information and documents into alternative formats, which include Braille and large print. For alternative format requests, please contact the department at (202) 693-7828 (voice) or (800) 877-8339 (federal relay).