Meat processing is a necessary business operation in order to keep food storages at adequate levels. This work is conducted outside the public view in many instances, which means that many people don’t know what all goes into processing meat, including the dangers. The truth of the matter is that this profession is one of the most dangerous in the country, oftentimes leaving workers with serious injuries that can affect them for months, years, or even their entire lifetime.
The dangers of meat processing
According to some reports, American meat processing employees are three times more likely to suffer a serious workplace injury than other workers. These injuries can include broken fingers, amputation, severe burns, head trauma, repetitive stress injuries, and many others. Why are these serious injuries so common? Here are a just a few reasons why:
- The speed of the work: Meat processors often operation on lines that are in continuous motion. This requires workers to move fast in order to keep up. When working at a high rate of speed, errors are likely to occur.
- The tools used: Many meat-processing workers aren’t just moving fast, they’re moving fast with sharp tools like knives and saws. So, when an error is made the damages caused can be devastating.
- Repetition: Working on a line requires these workers to perform the same movements over and over again with little to no breaks. This can cause repetitive stress injuries that can be long-lasting, such as carpal tunnel.
- Lack of safety measures: Far too many employers fail to provide workers with appropriate training and safety equipment. This sets the stage for disastrous workplace accidents that can leave workers seriously injured.
Those meat-processing workers who suffer on-the-job injuries can find it hard to get by physically, emotionally, and financially. Fortunately, benefits such as workers’ compensation or Social Security Disability may be available to help alleviate the financial strain. Hopefully then these injured workers can secure the treatment and financial stability they need while they focus on their recovery.