The National Chicken Council, National Turkey Federation and U.S. Poultry & Egg Association fully cooperated with GAO for more than a year, through stakeholder interviews and processing plant visits, as GAO worked on its report. The groups are pleased to see the report emphasizes the fact that injuries and illnesses have decreased dramatically in the poultry processing industry over the past several years.
U.S. poultry processors are proud of the advancements in worker safety and the ongoing efforts for continued improvement. The incidence of occupational injuries and illnesses within the poultry sector’s slaughter and processing workforce has fallen by 81 percent in the last 20 years and continues to decline according to the 2014 Injury and Illness Report released by the Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).
The poultry industry has focused its energies on the prevention of workplace injuries and illnesses, especially musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) like carpal tunnel syndrome, by recognizing the value of implementing ergonomics and medical intervention principles, and working with the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) to develop guidelines that further help protect our workforce.