In addition to the regulations that govern the meat and poultry industry, meat and poultry companies embrace a number of "best practices" to ensure safety, reduce injuries and illnesses, boost employee morale, and ensure a stable work force.
In 1990, the American Meat Institute made worker safety a non-competitive issue. At that time, the industry confronted its worker safety record directly and constructively. AMI collaborated with the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and with the United Food and Commercial Workers Union to develop Voluntary Ergonomic Guidelines for Meat Packers. These landmark guidelines were among the first industry-specific, ergonomic guidelines. Their widespread implementation throughout the industry triggered major reductions in injuries and illnesses. Experts, such as former OSHA Administrator Joe Dear, have called the industry's dramatic improvements through voluntary efforts a model for other industries.