The North American Meat Institute (NAMI) and the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) have entered into an alliance to increase safety in the meat sector. Through the two-year agreement, NAMI will be providing informational resources and guidance on coronavirus safety to its members in the meatpacking and processing industry as well as the public.
“The security of America’s food supply relies on meat processing facilities continuing to operate with a healthy workforce,” said Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health Loren Sweatt. “Together, OSHA and the North American Meat Institute can help ensure that employers in this critical industry have the tools and information they need to protect workers from the risk of the coronavirus.”
The alliance will allow for the collection of injury, illness, and hazard exposure data to be used for the identification of areas of emphasis. The two organizations will work collectively to develop information related to COVID-19 transmission risks and best practices for mitigating identified transmission risks. The partners will also work to categorize the particular challenges to eliminating exposures risks in meat packing and processing facilities. OSHA and NAMI each recognize that OSHA’s State Plan and On-Site Consultation Program partners are a critical part of the overall national effort, and information about the products and activities of the alliance may be shared to provide added benefits for other partners.
“Through this alliance, we look forward to working with OSHA to continue our work to protect the health and safety of the men and women who work in meat and poultry facilities during the COVID-19 pandemic and thereafter,” NAMI President and Chief Executive Officer Julie Anna Potts said in a press release. “These workers are essential to making food for our nation and are a critical part of our rural economies.”