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Should Nebraska Packing Plant Workers Be Protected With Higher Safety Standards?

| Jan 26, 2021 | Workers' Compensation

When there is a global pandemic occurring, it can make even normal things risky. For essential workers who must continue to work throughout the situation, it can be even more frustrating.

They rely on their employers to provide them with a safe workplace. According to activists, this includes providing proper personal protective equipment, paid time off for sick workers or those under quarantine and more transparency about positive cases within the company.

Business response

Businesses claim they are doing everything possible to create safe workplaces. They point toward policy changes, such as enhanced health benefits that cover all pandemic-related medical costs and offer free virtual doctor visits and the elimination of short-term disability waiting periods.

They also say they have increased access and availability to PPE, along with increasing disinfecting efforts. Businesses say they have improved air sanitation, educated staff on requirements and restrictions and require sick workers to take time off with pay.

They also remove high-risk workers and provide them with paid leave and implement procedures to conduct health screenings on all workers.

The response

Activists say there is not enough happening to keep them as safe as possible and urge the governor to step in. The governor explains that most regulation for these things lies with OSHA.

Activists say that is not true, and the governor can step in to protect the workers. They claim OSHA does not have packing plant-specific regulations during a pandemic. This allows these facilities to avoid many of the regulations, and workers deserve the maximum amount of protection possible.

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