Individuals who work in meat packing plants do hard work to make honest money. Keeping them safe must be a priority of these employers. There are several hazards that can come with working in this industry. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration has guidelines that must be followed, so that is a good place to start when trying to determine what needs to happen.
Some of the safety protocol for this industry is based on common sense, but employees still need to know the information. Proper training and continuing education for safety are two of the most important things that supervisors at meat packing plants can do to help employees avoid injuries.
Meat packing plant employees work with live or recently slaughtered animals, depending on the facility. This puts them at risk of exposure to certain bacteria and other similar hazards. One issue that can come from this is that there is an increased risk of problems if the person has a cut that comes into contact with any fluids or fecal matter from the animal. Wearing gloves and proper protective equipment is critical for employees, so companies must provide these supplies.
The environmental hazards of the job can lead to serious injuries. Floors are often slippery in these facilities. Workers should wear slip-resistant shoes to help prevent slip-and-falls. Having non-slip floors can help, but it might not do much good when there are certain types of fluids on the ground. Keeping any walking surfaces dry and as clean as possible is beneficial to everyone.
Repetitive motion injuries
Repetitive motions necessary to get the meat packaged properly can lead to injuries like carpal tunnel syndrome or lower back pain. Using ergonomic methods to get the job done can help to prevent this. Workers should also be encouraged to stretch and prepare for work. They should be told not to rush through their job duties because rushing usually leads to jerky motions, which can increase the chance of an injury.
Workers who do suffer any injury in a meat packing plant should get medical care right away. Filing an injury report with a supervisor is necessary for workers’ compensation. This program covers the medical bills for injured workers, and it can provide other benefits when the situation warrants things like partial wage replacement or vocational rehabilitation.