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Purser Quoted in NPR Article on Worker Safety Standards

May 3, 2023


Gretchen Purser

Gretchen Purser

The U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is proposing a $1.9 million penalty on a Cincinnati meat processing plant, accusing it of ignoring worker safety standards. The processing plant has had a history of safety violations, and in 2017 OSHA added the company to its severe violator enforcement program.

After an investigation, OSHA determined the company had not trained sanitation workers on how to properly shutdown and lock equipment prior to cleaning, exposing them to moving machine parts.

Gretchen Purser, associate professor of sociology, says injuries related to poor training among temporary workers are common, in part due to weak labor protections.

“Sometimes temporary workers are there for like a few days or even just the day. And so they're constantly circulating through different workplaces. They're unfamiliar with the workplace by definition. They're unfamiliar with the coworkers,” Purser says. “And all of that exacerbates their level of risk of injury and fatality.”

Read more in the NPR article, “OSHA proposes nearly $2 million penalty against Cincinnati meat processing plant.”

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