Meatpacking plants are necessary to supply Americans with the food options that they need, and these jobs are very labor-intensive. Factories often have hundreds or thousands of workers on the job at the same time. Some plants will have three different shifts so that they can run 24 hours a day. Production is very important so that they can hit the numbers every month.
As you can imagine, that means that this can be a dangerous job. Workers need to understand the risks and how they can operate safely. Let’s start by taking a look at some of the main risks that you may face if you take one of these jobs.
High noise levels
First of all, meatpacking plants can be very loud, and this extended exposure to high noise levels can cause permanent hearing loss. Remember that hearing loss cannot be repaired or fixed. If something like this happens to you, it is a life altering change. That’s why your employer must supply the right type of personal protection equipment (PPE).
Meatpacking plants also require people to pick up heavy items and to do repetitive movements. Both of these can take a toll on your muscles and your skeletal system, leading to repetitive motion injuries, spinal cord injuries, muscle strains and much more. Never forget that this can be a very physically demanding job.
Furthermore, workers are required to work around heavy equipment that could include things like hydraulic devices, conveyor belts and sharp implements that increase the risk of an accidental laceration. Entanglement in machines is always a risk, and accidents with heavy machinery can quickly become catastrophic. For this reason, it is critical that your employer trains you in how to use these devices proficiently and safely.
Have you been injured?
Understanding the risks can help you to identify them and take steps to work safely. But there is only so much that you can do, and much of the safety lies on your employer. If you do end up getting injured on the job, then you’ll need to know about your options to seek workers’ compensation.