Profit over people, poultry processing, CSB’s transparency

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What’s going on in EHS this week? Find out with Safety at the Frontline!

Tune in on Mondays to get the latest safety news with Frontline’s podcast. We’re covering the top EHS news, along with some quick and useful tips, so you can stay safe and keep rocking on the frontlines.

Dollar General citations

We’ve talked about Dollar General citations before on the podcast.

Since 2017, OSHA has proposed more than $6.5 million in penalties for Dollar General for failing to keep receiving areas clean and orderly and for stacking materials in an unsafe manner.

These hazards exposed workers to slips, trips, and being struck by objects. The agency also issued citations for exposing workers to fire and entrapment hazards by failing to keep exit routes and electrical panels clear and unobstructed.

After the three latest inspections, OSHA has proposed about $1.3 million in penalties. OSHA Assistant Secretary Doug Parker noted that despite similar citations and sizable penalties in more than 70 inspections, the company refuses to change its business practices and that they will take all necessary enforcement actions and pursue all available remedies against Dollar General until it fixes the disconnect between its business model and worker safety.

Poultry-processing line speeds

Our next news is on food safety. USDA is studying whether faster poultry-processing line speeds harm employees. USDA’s Food Safety Inspection Service plans to study the effects of increased line speeds on worker safety in poultry-processing plants. The study will inform future rulemaking related to line speed waivers issued under the agency’s New Poultry Inspection System.

FSIS will analyze monthly worker safety data submitted by poultry-processing plants that receive a modified waiver permitting their line speeds to increase to 175 birds a minute from the current 140. Additionally, “contracted worker safety experts” will make onsite visits to various establishments.

CSB on transparency

Last news of the week, the Chemical Safety Board says it will continue providing updates on incident investigations to provide important initial information on agency developments. The agency had discontinued the practice in recent years. The remark came as Stephen Owens and fellow board member Sylvia Johnson indicated a desire for CSB to be more transparent.