OSHA proposal 'burdensome': Poultry group

by Meat&Poultry Staff
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TUCKER, Ga. – US poultry groups said a proposed requirement to increase the types of work related incidents that must be reported to the Occupational Safety & Health Administration within eight hours may not help identify "significant workplace hazard[s] or failure[s] within a safety and health program and ... place[s] another reporting burden on the employer while doing little, if anything to improve workplace safety" in filing comments opposing OSHA’s proposed rules.

The Joint Poultry Industry Safety & Health Council, comprising the US Poultry & Egg Association, National Chicken Council and National Turkey Federation, prepared these comments. Combined, these organizations represent companies that produce 95 percent of the nation's poultry products and employ more than 300,000 workers.

The Join Council’s response explains OSHA’s proposed rule expands the reporting requirement for hospitalizations to require reporting a single employee hospitalization within eight hours for work-related incidents.

"It is not unusual for an employee to be admitted for observation or testing and be released the next day without any treatment. Such minor injuries are not indicative of a significant workplace hazard or failure within a safety and health program," the poultry group stated. "The current requirement of reporting the hospitalization of three or more employees is generally an indicator that a potentially serious safety incident may have occurred, and prompt reporting of such events is a more reasonable approach and remains justified.”

Additional reporting of hospitalization will allow for the collection of more information on the cause of these injuries and illnesses, OSHA states. The poultry group responded, "The DART [Days Away, Restrictions and Transfers] rate, calculated from existing injury and illness data, already identifies those workplaces with frequent, severe injuries. We fail to see why this currently available data is not sufficient to meet the goal of identifying ‘the most dangerous workplaces' and why OSHA needs this type of additional injury data."

The poultry group’s comments can be read on US Poultry & Egg Association's website.
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