Poultry industry raises constitutional issue with OSHA’s expanded inspections
The US Poultry & Egg Association, National Chicken Council and National Turkey federation are voicing concern regarding OSHA’s expanded authority when it comes to selection criteria used to conduct unprogrammed inspections.
The industry associations allege these inspections, which can occur when there is any notice of an accident or employee complaint, fall outside of OSHA’s legal authority and are in direct violation of the Fourth Amendment of the US Constitution as it applies to unreasonable searches and seizures.
In a statement released Monday, the three organizations say they submitted a letter to OSHA in March requesting the regulatory authority abide by established rules for facility inspections. The letter was a direct response to the memorandum "Inspection Guidance for Poultry Slaughtering and Poultry Processing Establishments,” released by OSHA in October last year.
“The poultry industry is committed to health and safety, but it also takes the law seriously,” the groups say. “We believe that OSHA can fulfill its mission within the bounds set by the Constitution, and we will continue to defend the industry practices that are not consistent with those guarantees.”