OSHA has released its third set of industry-specific ergonomics guidelines - Guidelines for Poultry Processing. The draft guidelines are available on OSHA's Web site at www.osha.gov/ergonomics (select "guidelines").

"These draft guidelines are similar to OSHA's 1990 Ergonomic Program Management Guidelines for Meatpacking Plants," said agency chief John L. Henshaw.

The draft guidelines consist of an introduction and two main sections. The introduction provides an overview of injuries related to ergonomic factors in poultry processing and explains the role of ergonomics in reducing these injuries. The first section describes how to develop and implement a strategy for analyzing the workplace, implementing ergonomic solutions, training employees, addressing injury reports and evaluating progress.

The second section, the heart of the guidelines, describes examples of ergonomics solutions that may be used in the poultry processing industry, including recommendations on workstation design, tools, manual materials handling and the selection of personal protective equipment. The draft guidelines conclude with a list of references and helpful resources.

The guidelines are advisory in nature and informational in content, and do not create any new duties. They will not be used for enforcement purposes.

OSHA is also working on guidelines for the shipyard industry, and will make drafts available for comment, as well.