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Illinois Department of Labor highlights local emphasis program focusing on food processors

Employers encouraged to utilize on-site safety and health consultation program

The Illinois Department of Labor’s (IDOL) On-Site Safety and Health Consultation Program is joining the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) to highlight a Local Emphasis Program (LEP) in the food manufacturing industry.

Food production workers in the state experience higher injury rates than other workers, particularly those in other manufacturing industries. In Illinois, food processing workers experienced a nearly 29 percent higher rate of amputations and 14 percent higher rate of fractures when compared to rates for private sector manufacturing jobs.

OSHA wants employers to identify, reduce, and eliminate hazards in the workplace.

“We’re encouraging qualifying employers to take advantage of the free, On-Site Safety and Health Consultation Program,” said On-Site Safety & Health Consultation Program Marketing/Outreach Coordinator Harry Hileman. “It provides safety and health advice to small- and medium-sized businesses committed to making their workplace safer.”

Between 2016 and 2020, OSHA investigated multiple deaths, along with dozens of workers who suffered severe injuries including amputations, fractures and crushed hands or fingers while working in food processing facilities. Investigators often determined employers failed to control hazardous energy or allowed workers to operate machines without adequate guarding.

IDOL recommends businesses with OSHA-related questions consult the Illinois On-Site Safety and Health Consultation Program. For more information click here or send an email.

Enforcement of occupational safety and health standards in Illinois is a shared responsibility between the U.S. DOL OSHA and the IDOL Division of Occupational Safety and Health (IL OSHA). Federal OSHA, an Administration under the U.S. Department of Labor, covers all private sector workplaces while IL OSHA, a Division of the IDOL, covers all state and local government workplaces.

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