The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is taking a closer look at worker safety in the swine industry and those inspections have revealed some surprising lapses.

Speaking at a recent Pork Checkoff-sponsored Worker Safety Roundtable in Memphis, TN, OSHA Area Director Ron McGill says federal OSHA officials performed 18 hog farm inspections between October 2004 and May 2006. Eleven operations inspected were found to be non-compliant and financial penalties were assessed.

“The first step toward a safer work environment is developing awareness to potential hazards through training, and the Pork Checkoff’s safety materials can help,” says Liz Wagstrom, DVM, assistant vice president of science and technology for the National Pork Board.

Pork Production Safety System (PPSS) guides producers on safety and regulatory issues. The set includes materials for trainers, including an instructor CD and a DVD with video clips to customize any production safety presentation.

PPSS’s Employer Resources CD assists in developing a safety manual for the farm, and offers an emergency action plan, fire prevention and protection, electrical safety, respiratory health and safety, animal handling and other plans.

“We’re also putting together hazard assessments for different jobs around the farm to give producers a new tool on how to assess which personal protection equipment should be used,” adds Wagstrom.

The Pork Production Safety System kit is free to pork producers and is also available in Spanish. Order fromwww.pork.org by clicking on the Pork Store link.