There are many serious safety and health hazards in the poultry processing industry. These hazards include exposure to high noise levels, dangerous equipment, slippery floors, musculoskeletal disorders, and hazardous chemicals (including ammonia that is used as a refrigerant). Musculoskeletal disorders are of particular concern and continue to be common among workers in the poultry processing industry. Employees can also be exposed to biological hazards associated with handling live birds or exposures to poultry feces and dusts which can increase their risk for many diseases.
Common hazard control measures include:
- implementing an effective ergonomics program,
- implementing an effective hearing conservation program,
- implementing design and maintenance of electrical systems and an effective lockout/tagout program to prevent injury from accidental start up of machinery during maintenance activities,
- providing required personal protective equipment,
- guarding dangerous equipment,
- following OSHA's process safety management standard to protect workers from accidental leaks of ammonia,
- incorporating engineering controls, such as improving sanitation and ventilation measures, to protect workers from biological hazards that can cause, salmonella, psittacosis, campylobacter infection and other diseases,
- maintaining walking/working surfaces to prevent slips, trips and falls,
- implementing OSHA's Hazard Communication Standard requirements and ensuring workers are not exposed to unsafe levels of hazardous chemicals,
- following OSHA standards that require that exit doors are not blocked and not locked while employees are in the building. Employees must be able to open an exit route door from the inside at all times without keys, tools or special knowledge.
Employers must also comply with OSHA’s sanitation standard 29 CFR 1910.141, that requires that toilet facilities must be made readily available and that employees are able to use toilet facilities when needed.
Poultry processing hazards are addressed in specific OSHA standards for general industry.
Hazards and Solutions
Provides references that may aid in recognizing poultry processing hazards and provides examples of possible solutions.
Provides links and references to additional resources related to poultry processing.