The US Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has signed an alliance with the North American Meat Institute (NAMI) to provide information, guidance and access to training resources for protecting workers in the meatpacking and processing industry from exposures to the coronavirus.
During the two-year alliance, participants will develop information on recognizing coronavirus transmission risks and best practices for preventing transmission, and on challenges for exposure control in meatpacking and processing facilities. Alliance participants will also conduct outreach to small- and medium-sized facilities on available guidance and compliance assistance resources, including the On-Site Consultation Program, and will work together on other outreach activities, including providing information on OSHA’s enforcement policies and procedures relevant to the meatpacking and processing industry.
“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.”
According to the plan, the participants intend to work together to achieve the following objectives:
- Share information among OSHA personnel and industry safety and health professionals (e.g., via regular teleconferences and online communication tools) regarding potential exposure to COVID-19 and the challenges for exposure control in meat packing and processing facilities.
- Develop information on the recognition of COVID-19 transmission risks and best practices on preventing such transmission, and disseminate these resources (e.g., via print and electronic media, electronic assistance tools, and OSHA and the NAMI websites) to employers and workers in the industry.
- Conduct outreach through joint forums, roundtable discussions, stakeholder meetings, webinars, or other formats on OSHA guidance and NAMI’s good practices or effective approaches for preventing COVID-19 transmission in meat packing and processing facilities.
- Speak, exhibit, or appear at OSHA and NAMI conferences, local meetings, and other events regarding good practices and available resources for preventing COVID-19 transmission.
- Encourage NAMI members and other industry stakeholders to build relationships with OSHA's Regional and Area Offices and State Plans, and to utilize OSHA's On-Site Consultation Program to improve health and safety and prevent COVID-19 transmission in meat packing and processing facilities.
Formed in 2015, North American Meat Institute represents meat and poultry processing and packing companies and their suppliers nationwide.