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Enforcement program launched to prevent musculoskeletal injuries

Missouri is one of three states in which federal health authorities are concerned about the high numbers of workers developing musculoskeletal disorders due to the prevalence of ergonomic stressors among workers in industries such as poultry processors. Data gathered by the Bureau of Labor Statistics indicates that 7.5 percent of workers in this industry are victims of recordable illnesses or injuries. An emphasis program was launched to assist owners of poultry processing plants in reducing the number of injuries suffered by workers.

Under the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, workers must be provided with an environment that is free of health and injury hazards. With this enforcement program, OSHA's intention is to provide education, training and assistance that will ensure safe working conditions for workers in this industry. OSHA says the agency regularly receives complaints involving injuries, hospitalizations and even fatalities related to these types of injuries.

The program will provide education and share health and safety information with workers and employers for the first three months of the program. This will provide business owners the opportunity to bring about health and safety changes to comply with the required federal standards. Enforcement to ensure compliance will follow the information period.

Musculoskeletal disorders can cause conditions that need long-term medical care, and in some cases, they can even prevent a worker from continuing work in a specific field. Understandably, this can have an adverse impact on a worker and his or her family. Workers' compensation benefits may be pursued, but proving that such injuries were caused by a company's lack of ergonomics management may be difficult. An experienced Missouri workers' compensation attorney can provide the guidance and assistance necessary to pursue fair compensation.

Source: sekvoice.com, "OSHA emphasizes need to reduce illness, injury among poultry processors", March 23, 2016

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