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Poultry Groups Refute Recent Claims on Poultry Worker Safety

25 March 2013

US - The US Poultry & Egg Association and the National Chicken Council have refuted claims over worker safety made in a recent report released by the Southern Poverty Law Center and Alabama Appleseed Center for Law & Justice.

The poultry organisations have issued a white paper providing facts about the poultry industry and its approach to worker safety.

The report, Unsafe At These Speeds, begins by stating that injuries in the poultry industry are much more frequent than for the private workforce as a whole, citing 2010 OSHA data.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported that the injury and illness rate for poultry processing workers is 5.9 per cent compared to 3.5 per cent for all workers in the private sector.

Recently released 2011 numbers place poultry processing workers at 5.8 per cent compared to 3.5 per cent for all workers in the private sector.

The white paper provides more accurate approaches that should be taken to put the OSHA data in proper perspective. First, a more accurate comparison would be to compare poultry workers to all manufacturing workers, who incurred injuries and illnesses at a 4.4 per cent rate in 2011. It is also noteworthy to compare poultry processing’s 5.8 per cent rate to other industries and professions.

For 2011, the BLS reported injury / illness rate for automobile manufacturing workers (NAICS code 3361) was 7.5 per cent; for office furniture manufacturing (NAICS code 3372), 5.2 per cent; for passenger airline workers (NAICS code 481112), 7.9 per cent; and for state and local government workers, 5.7 per cent. The poultry industry’s injury and illness rates are in line with many other manufacturing industries.

USPOULTRY and NCC go on in the paper to refute the specific claims about worker health and safety, line speeds, unionization, workers’ compensation, anaerobic manure lagoons and the proposal to modernize poultry inspection. The steady and impressive reduction in injuries and illnesses in the poultry industry, 74.5 percent since 1994, is highlighted.

The poultry industry is proud of the advancements it has made in worker safety over the last 30+ years and the ongoing efforts for continuous improvement.

Further Reading

Further Reading

You can view the white paper by clicking here.
- Go to our previous news item on this story by clicking here.

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