Worker Health & Safety

Factsheets

Hormone Use in Swine Production and Worker Safety

Publish Date: 04/30/2012

Many drugs or chemicals used in conventional swine production facilities can impact employee health. Drugs used for reproductive purposes in swine are most dangerous to female employees. Although employees may be exposed by different routes, accidental injection is particularly of concern. Little is known about needlestick rates in female pork production workers. Limited research shows that of female veterinarians, 75% reported a needlestick in a 12 month period in Australia, and 64% reported a needlestick after graduation in the U.S. Of veterinary technicians more than 90% have experienced a needlestick during their career. However, needlestick events are probably underreported. Other routes of exposure to hormones may occur. Some hormones can be absorbed through the skin. Handling of hormones by males may be an exposure risk for spouses through handling clothing or by skin contact.


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Factsheets

Assessing Worker Health in the Pork Industry

Publish Date: 04/30/2012

Worker health is an important concept for the pork industry. Not only should worker health be assessed during employment, but before employment as well. Pre-employment physicals can help pork producers match a potential employee with a specific job in the operation. In addition, pre-employment physicals should be part of an overall occupational medicine and health promotion program. Worker health should also be assessed periodically for active employees. This may include hearing tests and measurement of respiratory function.


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Factsheets

Resources for Worker Safety Program Development

Publish Date: 05/09/2012

Why should pork producers care about worker safety? First of all, having a safe operation is good for business. According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), an effective safety and health program can save $4 to $6 for every $1 invested. It’s the right thing to do, and doing it right pays off in lower costs, increased productivity, and higher employee morale [1]. Developing a worker safety program may seem like a daunting task. However, there are many free resources available to pork producers. These include government sources, such as OSHA, and materials developed by the pork industry itself.


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Factsheets

Fire Prevention and Protection

Publish Date: 04/19/2012

In the event of a fire, your farm buildings, equipment, and livelihood can be wiped out literally in a flash. Fires can kill quickly; whether from heat and smoke, release of toxic gases, or the rapid loss of oxygen. Without prevention and safe management practices, you put your own life – as well as the lives of your employees and animals – at risk. The good news is, most fires can be prevented. Follow these practices to “stop fires before they start.


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Factsheets

Safe Animal Handling

Publish Date: 04/19/2012

Injury to workers and animals can occur with all ages and developmental stages of pigs and during moving, loading or unloading, and processing. Strategies to prevent injuries are reviewed below. Situations and facilities vary and this list is not meant to be inclusive of all prevention and control strategies, but is meant to help stimulate the problem-solving process for producers.


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Factsheets

Hepatitis E Virus

Publish Date: 04/20/2012

Recent detailed reviews of hepatitis E virus (HEV) infection of humans and animals are available (Meng, 2000a, 2000b; Smith, 2001). Hepatitis E virus is the primary cause of enterically-transmitted, non-A, non-B, acute hepatitis in humans in several developing countries. The mode of HEV transmission is thought to be mainly by fecal-oral route and outbreaks in humans are usually associated with consumption of drinking water contaminated by feces. Mortality rate due to HEV infection in humans is typically less than 1%; however, mortality rates of nearly 20% have been reported in infected pregnant women in developing countries of Asia and Africa. However, attempts to reproduce fulminant hepatitis E in pregnant rhesus monkeys (Tsarev et al, 1995) and pregnant sows (Thacker et al, unpublished) were unsuccessful. HEV-induced disease is endemic in many developing countries particularly in Africa and Asia. Hepatitis E virus-induced disease is considered sporadic in humans in industrialized countries such as the U.S.


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PIG How-To's

How to Keep OSHA Training Up-To-Date

Publish Date: 04/17/2012

Being prepared for an OSHA inspection includes keeping records and worker training up-to-date. Although pork producers are not mandated to comply with the entire OSHA General Industry Standard, remember that the OSHA General Duty Clause can always be used to cite producers for any unsafe act or condition. For detailed information about what to expect during an OSHA inspection, refer to PIG factsheet 16-01-05 (to view factsheet, registration is required at http://www.porkgateway.org).


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PIG How-To's

How To Become OSHA Compliant

Publish Date: 04/17/2012

Confusion is common when it comes to OSHA and the agricultural industry. Who is regulated, and why? What standards and rules do pork producers need to follow? The first step in achieving compliance is to become educated about OSHA. For more information on any topic below, visit the OSHA Web site (www.osha.gov).


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PIG How-To's

How To Complete OSHA Records

Publish Date: 04/17/2012

You may have heard that agriculture is exempt from OSHA, but thats not exactly true. While small family farms may not be inspected, farms employing more than 10 non-family employees can be inspected and they must also keep OSHA records regarding work-related injuries and illnesses.


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PIG How-To's

How To Protect Workers From Infection

Publish Date: 04/17/2012

Good hygiene in the office and living areas of your production facility is important to protect the people working in these facilities from developing infections. The office, kitchen, break room, bathroom and showers can harbor microorganisms (bacteria, viruses or fungi) that can make people ill. Bacteria such as pseudomonas, methicillin-resistant staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) and others are considered a risk for people sharing living areas such as army barracks. Pork production workers share shower and other facilities, and may also have some risk of spreading infections among each other. Additionally, some bacteria can cause illness in people if brought into the food preparation areas of the facility. However, by following some simple rules you can keep your facilities clean and safe for everyone.


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