OSHA Alert Addresses Food Processing Hazards

OSHA has issued an alert about severe injury hazards in the food processing industry. According to industry data for 2015-22, food and beverage processing machinery and butchering machinery were the primary contributors to severe injuries in the industry.

Compliance inspections completed in 2022-23 show an increase in fatalities and amputations among young workers in the industry, the agency reports, pointing to insufficient training as a root cause. “Employers should focus appropriate attention to ensuring younger and inexperienced workers receive sufficient instruction and oversight,” OSHA say. Increased reliance on temporary and contract workers is another contributing factor. The alert advises employers to conduct job hazard assessments of all machinery, drawing specific attention to OSHA’s lockout/tagout regulations (29 CFR 1910.147) and the proper use of measures such as guards, presence-sensing devices and trip devices.