The meatpacking industry is a critical part of America’s economy, as most people consume meat at relatively high levels and there is a constant demand. As such, these meatpacking plants become places where productivity is incredibly important, and workers are forced to do as well as they can in a fast-paced environment. This can increase their risks if they are rushing and focusing more on productivity than safety, and it’s important for supervisors to understand these risks and stress the importance of safety every step of the way.
What are the specific risks that they face? A few of them include:
- Working around dangerous equipment
- Working around moving parts and machines
- Being exposed to high noise levels
- Having to walk on slippery floors
- Developing musculoskeletal disorders, especially when doing the same motions over and over again
- Working with hazardous chemicals; one example is ammonia, which is a common refrigerant
On top of this, workers have some of the more common risks faced by those in many industries: Tripping and falling on the stairs, being injured through workplace violence, loading and unloading trucks, getting injured in accidents while making deliveries, and much more. These are by no means exclusive to meatpacking, but they show up every day.
Have you been hurt on the job? If so, you may deserve compensation for your lost wages and your medical bills. It is very important to understand what rights you have as an American worker and what steps you need to take after the injury occurs.