The meat industry is a dangerous one in which to work. Slaughterhouses use sharp objects, conveyor belts and large machinery that can easily cause amputations, lacerations and deaths. Many employees have been affected by the dangers of meat slaughterhouses; many suffer injuries or are killed in preventable circumstances. A list of accident reports from 2001 released by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) includes incidents involving hospitalizations for lacerations from flying blades, eye injuries from hanging hooks, burning incidents, deaths from chemical spills and other serious accidents.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) stated that the meatpacking industry is the most dangerous industry in the nation. All the way back in 1999, the BLS indicated that around a fourth of all workers in the industry had suffered illnesses or injuries on the job. In 2013, an article discussing one slaughterhouse described the conditions in which the workers worked. They stood on platforms while using saws to cut through hanging carcasses on hooks. The risks there ranged from slip-and-fall accidents to lacerations or repetitive motion injuries.
As a worker who is involved in the meatpacking industry, it’s important that you’re kept safe on the job. Your employer knows that there are risks in your workplace that range from being crushed by heavy equipment to falling from great heights. Fortunately, your employer should carry workers’ compensation, which is insurance coverage that helps take care of medical bills and lost wages if you get hurt. Our website has more information about workers’ compensation and how to make a claim if you’ve been hurt on the job.