Poultry processing injuries: An invisible problem?

On Behalf of | Aug 13, 2018 | Workplace Injuries |

There are various safety risks that could come up for people who work at poultry processing plants. This includes musculoskeletal injury risks. Examples of such injuries poultry processing workers sometimes suffer include:

  • Carpal tunnel syndrome
  • Lower back injuries
  • Tendinitis
  • Muscle strains

Among the things that can pose risks for these types of injuries in this field are repetitive motions. Meat processing work can involve having to make the same types of motions over and over again over a long period of time.

How common are musculoskeletal injuries and other injuries in the poultry processing industry? A recent report argues that current data on this topic may not accurately reflect the full scope of the injury likelihood in this field. According to this report, this is because injuries might be majorly underreported.

One thing the report pointed to as being behind such underreporting are current OSHA policies regarding the collection of injury data. According to the report, these policies may put many types of common meat and poultry processing injuries into the category of injuries that employers don’t have report to OSHA.

Why does how accurate of injury statistics are out when it comes to poultry processing matter? Well, such data can be important in painting an accurate picture of how big of safety risks workers in this industry face. This, in turn, can be key information for lawmakers, employers and workers to have. One wonders if future years will see any changes in OSHA injury data collection when it comes to this field.

Another thing the report postulated contributed to injury underreporting in poultry processing is workers being afraid of reporting injuries to their employers. Injuries not getting reported due to such fear can not only make getting accurate injury data very difficult, but also cause problems for individual workers. For one, a worker not reporting an injury promptly after in happens could complicate future efforts to obtain workers’ comp benefits for the injury. So, after an injury, it can be important for workers to have accurate information on:

  • What protections they have related to reporting their injury
  • What workers’ comp rights they have
  • What they need to do to protect these rights

Skilled lawyers can provide guidance to workers when it comes to such things.

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