Food production injuries, outbreaks & the foundry incident

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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.

OSHA to reduce food production injuries

We’ve been making time to report updates from the food manufacturing industry or various outbreaks, and this week’s news are among the reasons why. It’s certainly a dangerous industry and OSHA is preparing to take action. According to the Department of Labor, food production workers in Illinois and Ohio have cited significantly higher injury rates than other manufacturing workers.

OSHA initiated a Local Emphasis Program focusing on 1400 facilities in those states. To give a glimpse of the statistics, in 2019, OSHA found that food production workers in Ohio had a nearly 57% higher rate of amputations and a 16% higher rate of fractures compared to the overall rates for manufacturers in the private sector.

In Illinois, these workers experienced a nearly 29% higher rate of amputations and 14% higher rate of fractures when compared to rates for private-sector manufacturing jobs.

Agencies cautious about sharing outbreak information

Onto our next food safety update, the FDA and the USDA have both announced new outbreaks but haven’t been providing any details regarding the situation.

According to reports, the FSIS is investigating an outbreak of infections from E. coli but has not reported how many people are sick. The suspected source of the pathogen is beef but has not been revealed whether traceback efforts have begun or how the beef was determined to be the likely source.

The agency has not reported where outbreak patients reside or when they became ill. The CDC also hasn’t released any information about the outbreak.

The FDA reported that 264 patients have been confirmed sick from Salmonella, but again, no reports on the timing and location of the patients.

Foundry worker’s fatal fall

Last news of the week, a few months ago, a 39-year-old foundry employee fell into an 11-foot-deep pot of molten iron heated to more than 2,000 degrees Fahrenheit. A federal investigation determined that had safety guards or fall protection been installed, the 39-year-old employee would still be here.

The foundry, operated by one of the world’s largest manufacturers of industrial vehicles and equipment was producing cast iron engine components. The company was cited for a willful violation, for failing to install a legally required fall protection system that would have saved the employee’s life, and proposed fines of $145,027.

Don’t forget to subscribe to our podcast for more EHS updates, and in the meantime, stay safe and stay tuned for next week.