Working in a meat processing plant or slaughterhouse exposes you to a number of hazards. The jobs are dangerous and can result in musculoskeletal disorders thanks to days filled with repetitive motions. Americans each eat around 200 pounds of meat a year on average, so it’s safe to say that this industry does require a significant amount of work. The industry is fast-paced and dangerous, even for healthy, fit individuals.
For people who complete these jobs, they often have to package meat by the dozens each minute. It’s not uncommon to see the line worker package 40 or 50 hams in a minute, according to one woman’s recollection of working in the industry. After doing that kind of repetitive action day after day, it’s not unreasonable that a worker would suffer an injury. In this woman’s case, she suffered shoulder pain and had to have surgery. After surgery, she was placed back on the line, where she was told she’d always be in pain.
The United States Department of Labor stated that those who work at slaughterhouses often have to switch jobs, and the industry has a 70 percent higher rate of injury than other manufacturing workers overall. These companies are now required to report injuries within the first 24 hours of an incident. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration reported that 150 serious injuries took place within a year at the top four meat companies in the United States.
The meat industry is dangerous, and you know it best as someone who has suffered an injury. You have rights, and you can seek out workers’ compensation if you’re in need of medical assistance and other benefits. Our website has more information.