OSHA’s existing standards are ineffective at protecting meatpacking and poultry processing workers from developing carpal tunnel, tendonitis, and other work-related musculoskeletal disorders. The pace, repetition, and design of work on production lines in most meatpacking and poultry plants are the key risk factors for worker injuries. In September 2013, the Southern Poverty Law Center and a coalition of civil rights groups filed a petition with OSHA urging the agency to commence rulemaking to address these hazards. OSHA should propose a regulation to require each of the country's largest poultry and meatpacking companies (e.g., those with more than 1,500 employees and/or contracted staff) to develop and implement an injury and illness prevention program that will address musculoskeletal hazards.
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