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Healthy Workplaces

Healthy Workplaces - Employees - Poultry and Food Processing

Food processing can be broken into two separate parts with very different hazards. Cultivating crops and raising livestock poses different health hazards than the factories where they are processed into the products we buy.

Potential Hazards

Working on farms and poultry houses can pose hazards such as:

  • Dusts and animal waste
  • Working with and around machinery and heavy equipment
  • Biological hazards, including avian flu
  • Extreme heat and cold

Hazards of food processing facilities can include:

  • Working around industrial machinery and equipment
  • Ammonia, commonly used in refrigeration systems
  • Biological hazards associated with the slaughter of animals
  • Grain dusts and other respiratory hazards

Lowering Your Risk


  • Know the proper procedures for the equipment and materials you use and Follow Them!
  • Read the MSDS sheets for chemicals and products you are exposed to.


  • Wear the proper personal protective equipment (PPE) for each activity.
  • Follow proper procedures for machines and equipment you work with.

Healthy Workplaces - Employees - Poultry and Food Processing

Additional Links

OSHA eTool
Poultry Industry


OSHA Standards
Poultry Processing


OSHA Guidance for
Protecting Employees
Against Avian Flu


OSHA Avian Flu
Fact Sheet

( Spanish Version )

If you don't see your job on these pages, or have additional questions, contact the Delaware Helpline at 1-800-464-HELP.

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