The poultry industry says it continues to make improvements in its worker safety record. Citing 2011 BLS injury and illness statistics, the National Chicken Council says injury and illness rates are down slightly (5.8 per 100 full-time workers) and are below the rate for the animal slaughter and processing industry overall.
According to the Council, the poultry industry has seen a drop of 74 percent in incidents since 1994. “The significant and consistent decline in illness and injury rates among our workforce over the past two decades is a direct result of the poultry industry’s strong commitment to worker safety,” said Council President Mike Brown.
Industry executives cite efforts including:
- Sharing noncompetitive practices, for example, through a white paper on ergonomics initiatives,
- Partnering with Georgia Tech to develop a tool to assess musculoskeletal disorders in poultry tasks,
- Working with equipment manufacturers and suppliers to improve machine guarding,
- Collaborating with PPE suppliers to achieve improvements in protective hand wear, eyewear, and footwear, and
- An annual safety conference held for the past 29 years.