Poultry Processing Plant Exposed Workers to Musculoskeletal Injuries: OSHA

OSHA has proposed $38,000 in fines for Allen Harim Foods LLC.

OSHA announced an enforcement case after determining that workers cutting chicken fat, bone, and cartilage eight hours a day at a Delaware poultry plant are suffering musculoskeletal injuries due to their jobs. The agency cited Allen Harim Foods and proposed $38,000 in fines for exposing employees on the debone line at its Harbeson plant to musculoskeletal disorder hazards. The workers performed prolonged, repetitive, and forceful tasks without controls in place to prevent injuries.

"Musculoskeletal injuries caused by these hazards in poultry plants are too common," said Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health Dr. David Michaels. "These types of injuries can be prevented by implementing appropriate engineering and administrative controls in the workplace, and when they occur, they must be treated early with appropriate medical care to prevent the illness from progressing."

Additionally, OSHA issued citations for failing to designate emergency exits properly and to ensure employees received training related to machinery that could unexpectedly start up during service and maintenance.

"The combination of musculoskeletal disorder hazards, lack of proper medical treatment for musculoskeletal disorders, and under-reporting of injuries at this plant must be addressed by the company," said Erin Patterson, director of OSHA's Wilmington office. "Workers should not have to work in pain, especially when these injuries are preventable."

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