Poultry Industry Hits Back at Oxfam, Says Injury Rates in Decline

2 November 2015, at 12:00am

US - US poultry meat associations have responded to accusations of worker abuse in a report from Oxfam America by saying that huge advances have been made in worker safety over the last 20 years.

A statement from the US Poultry & Egg Association and National Chicken Council said: "The incidence of occupational injuries and illnesses within the poultry sector’s slaughter and processing workforce has fallen by 80 per cent in the last 20 years and continues to decline, according to the 2013 Injury and Illness Report released by the Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).

"In fact, poultry processing’s injury and illness rate of 4.5 is on par with all manufacturing jobs and is decreasing at a much faster rate."

The statement also said that the industry had recognised the value of implementing ergonomics and medical intervention principles and working with the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) to develop guidelines that further help protect the poultry processing workforce.

The organisations further addressed some of the concerns expressed in the Oxfam America report in a longer response. The longer document addresses some of the strides made in providing ergonomic work equipment and improving safety oversight.