Meatpacking Industry Hazards and How to Prevent Them - Martin Supply

Meatpacking Industry Hazards and How to Prevent Them

Person packaging meat

Meatpacking Industry Hazards and How to Prevent Them

Amputation is one of the more obvious hazards in this industry. Workers consistently work with saws and other sharp objects, as well as crushing and entrapment hazards that can all result in losing a limb or appendage. Fortunately, many of these injuries can be prevented. There are several OSHA regulations and other precautions you can follow to keep workers safe:

Machine guards should be placed over any moving parts of the equipment that may cause serious injury. This prevents people from accidentally touching or reaching into an amputation hazard. Machine guarding is often neglected, however, and is one of OSHA’s Top 10 Safety Violations of 2023.

When someone does have to approach an amputation hazard, the lockout/tagout process is necessary to prevent injury. This will remove all electrical, hydraulic, chemical, or other energy sources to prevent unexpected startup or release of stored energy.

Workers who are exposed to amputation hazards should be given annual safety training. OSHA requires that workers be regularly taught how to handle and avoid workplace hazards. Making sure your team is educated on the dangers of their environment is the best way to avoid incidents on the job.

Working with raw meats can leave workers susceptible to a number of diseases and illnesses. Exposure to biological agents can happen during slaughter or when handling fresh meats. This can result in the flu, skin infections, stomach infections, sepsis, meningitis, and more. The best way for workers to protect themselves is by wearing well-fitted personal protective equipment (PPE).

Waterproof gloves, goggles, and face masks are key PPE to prevent bacteria from infecting your team. Those products can either be bought individually, or they can be packaged together as a kit for new employees. Antibacterial soaps and other items for personal hygiene should also be readily available.

In an environment where bacteria and raw foods are prominent, strong cleaning chemicals are necessary. Peracetic acid, chlorine, and hydrogen peroxide are all chemicals that are commonly used to clean, which can cause irritation of the throat, eyes, and nose. Carbon dioxide and ammonia are also used in refrigeration, which can cause serious health issues as well.

Once again, PPE is the best way to make sure these chemicals are not inhaled or ingested. If they do cause issues though, your facility should be prepared. Safety data sheets should contain comprehensive information about the chemicals and how they should be treated in an emergency situation. Eyewash stations are also a helpful tool to avoid permanent damage to a person’s eyes when handling chemicals.

Martin Supply can provide access to a wide variety of PPE and other safety equipment, as well as cleaning supplies and more. Martin’s Safety Professionals are also qualified to offer OSHA-certified safety trainings and audits. To learn more, contact your Martin Sales Rep or call 800.828.8116.

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