OSHA Targets Food Plants in Illinois, Ohio

Nov. 11, 2022
Accidental injury rates in those states exceed the national average.

The federal government is putting food processors in Illinois and Ohio under a safety microscope.

The Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA) is in the midst of a three-month Local Emphasis Program targeting food processing facilities in the two states. OSHA is undertaking this review program because food production workers in Illinois and Ohio have injury rates significantly higher than the national average.

In a review of workplace incidents between 2016 and 2020, OSHA found that food production workers in Ohio had a nearly 57% higher rate of amputations and 16% percent higher rate of fractures compared to the overall rates for manufacturers in the private sector. In Illinois, those rates were 29% and 14%, respectively. Both states also did worse when compared specifically to the rest of the food sector, in categories including fractures, amputations, cuts, lacerations, punctures, and heat and chemical burns.

The Local Emphasis Program was started in early October. Once the three-month review process is complete, OSHA will be empowered to identify and inspect individual facilities in Illinois and Ohio that have worse-than-average injury rates. OSHA also will conduct an outreach program to raise safety awareness among employers, professional associations, local safety councils, apprenticeship programs, local hospitals and occupational health clinics.

About the Author

Pan Demetrakakes | Senior Editor

Pan has written about the food and beverage industry for more than 25 years. His areas of coverage have included formulations, processing, packaging, marketing and retailing. Pan worked for Food Processing Magazine for six years in the 1990s, where he was operations editor (his current role), touring dozens of food plants of every description. He has also worked for Packaging and Food & Beverage Packaging magazines, the latter as chief editor, during which he won three ASBPE awards. He is a graduate of Stanford University with a BA in communications.

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