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Chicken plant cited for failing to prevent workers' injuries

Many New York workers are in industries in which muscular skeletal disorders pose a significant risk. These disorders can be caused by repetitive actions such as lifting or reaching overhead, bending, pulling and pushing loads and remaining in awkward body positions for long periods. Owners of such companies must study the ergonomics of each task and implement measures designed to protect employees from suffering these painful workers' injuries.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration recently cited a chicken processing plant in another state when it was found that workers were exposed to MSDs. Inspectors determined that workers who had to cut chicken bones, cartilage and fat continuously for up to eight hours per day had no protection against developing such disorders. OSHA said these repetitive tasks that are common to poultry plants are known to cause extremely painful MSDs.

The agency stated that appropriate administrative and engineering controls must be implemented to prevent these occupational illnesses from occurring. When they do occur, appropriate and timely treatment must be provided to prevent the progress of the conditions. The company was also cited for other violations, including the lack of clearly indicated emergency exits, and its failure to provide proper training related to unexpected activation of machines during cleaning and maintenance procedures.

MSDs are conditions that develop over time, and New York workers may be wise to seek medical care as soon as they start feeling pain and discomfort. All medical expenses related to workers' injuries are typically covered by workers' compensation insurance, and injured employees are entitled to pursue compensation. By filing appropriate workers' compensation benefit claims, medical expenses and lost wages of injured workers are commonly compensated.

Source: capegazette.villagesoup.com, "Allen Harim fined for Harbeson plant citations", Maddy Lauria, July 9, 2015

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