WASHINGTON–On Aug. 14, the North American Meat Institute (NAMI) and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) announced a two-year alliance to provide Meat Institute members, the public, and other stakeholders with information, guidance, and access to training resources that will help protect workers.

“Through this alliance, we look forward to working with OSHA to continue our work to protect the health and safety of the men and women who work in meat and poultry facilities during the COVID-19 pandemic and thereafter,” said CEO Julie Anna Potts, NAMI’s president and chief executive officer. “These workers are essential to making food for our nation and are a critical part of our rural economies.”

The groups said the alliance would develop information on recognizing the coronavirus (COVID-19) transmission risks, best practices for preventing transmission and challenges for exposure control in meatpacking and processing facilities.

“The security of America’s food supply relies on meat-processing facilities continuing to operate with a healthy workforce,” said Loren Sweatt, principal deputy assistant secretary of labor for occupational safety and health, the agency that oversees OSHA. “Together, OSHA and the North American Meat Institute can help ensure that employers in this critical industry have the tools and information they need to protect workers from the risk of the coronavirus.”

Participants in the alliance will conduct outreach to small and medium-sized facilities on available guidance and compliance resources, including an on-site consultation program. They will also work on other outreach activities, including providing information on OSHA’s enforcement policies and procedures relevant to the meatpacking and processing industry.