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06/24/2024 10:33 AM
Pennsylvania House of Representatives
https://www.legis.state.pa.us/cfdocs/Legis/CSM/showMemoPublic.cfm?chamber=H&SPick=20230&cosponId=42398
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House Co-Sponsorship Memoranda

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House of Representatives
Session of 2023 - 2024 Regular Session

MEMORANDUM

Posted: March 28, 2024 02:14 PM
From: Representative Jim Haddock
To: All House members
Subject: Meat Packing and Food Processing Protection Act
 
Meat packing and food processing is one of the largest and most essential industries in Pennsylvania. The food manufacturing industry directly employs tens of thousands of workers and supports thousands more. Pennsylvania has over 2,300 food processing facilities and ranks amongst the top in the nation for food processing exports. Food produced and manufactured by the industry is strictly regulated by the United States Department of Agriculture, the Federal Drug Administration, and various state-level regulations. However, there is not a single law on the books that specifically protects workers in this dangerous industry.

Meat packing and food processing is amongst the most dangerous professions in the country. Recent data compiled by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration explained that in the 29 states covered under federal OSHA, 27 workers a day suffered amputation or other hospitalization between 2015 and 2023 in meat packing alone. Some of the most frequently reported injuries are repetitive strain injuries, chemical burns, exposure to hazardous chemicals, caught-between falls, lacerations and cuts, amputations, and more. Many of these injuries are associated with improper training and communication, crowding on lines, exhaustion, unsafe working conditions, absence of protective equipment, and underlying injury.

These workers are the definition of essential workers. Without them, our grocery store shelves would sit empty, and Pennsylvania’s economy would suffer. They deserve common sense protections to keep them safe at work. As such, my legislation will help strengthen protections at the federal level by ensuring workers are receiving proper training in the language they speak, have a reporting mechanism for dangerous workplace conditions, can take an active role in safety on the job, and more. This common-sense approach to workplace safety ensures that not only is the food we put on our tables safe, but the workers are as well. Please consider co-sponsoring this necessary legislation.



Introduced as HB2235