Turkey processing and other meatpacking jobs are relatively dangerous. The nature of the work creates numerous employment hazards. Workers can get hurt in sudden incidents. They can also develop job-acquired illnesses due to routine job functions or pathogen exposure.
Meat-packing employees typically have workers’ compensation coverage provided by their employers. That coverage can help pay for medical expenses or replace lost wages with disability benefits. Employees who develop work-acquired medical conditions may qualify for benefits to help them pay their bills and get treatment.
Most meat-packing professionals would prefer to avoid injury. Unfortunately, the hazards of the profession are difficult to eliminate. Those who know the biggest risks can sometimes stay safer at work. The following are some of the top sources of risk in a meatpacking or processing facility.
Long, repetitive shifts
Workers in a poultry processing plant may handle hundreds of birds each shift. They typically perform the exact same job tasks over and over for hours. The repetitive nature of the work can lead to injuries. Physical labor can cause medical issues ranging from back pain to carpal tunnel syndrome. Workers may develop repetitive motion disorders or overexertion injuries when they perform the same job tasks and spend hours every shift standing.
There are typically many chemicals present in meat processing facilities. Sanitation chemicals are a perfect example. Chemical exposure can lead to injuries or illnesses. Routine exposure to certain chemicals can be hazardous on its own. Workers could also develop major illnesses or severe injuries in chemical spills or similar incidents.
Machinery and tool incidents
Some people might have to cut the meat. Both gripping a knife and handling a sharp tool can lead to injury. Other times, people apply chemicals or help package finished products. Proximity to the machinery that transports the meat can be a danger on its own. People could experience struck-by or caught-in incidents that cause severe injuries.
In busy, chaotic environments like meat processing facilities, injuries can occur at any time. One small mistake could lead to major consequences for a worker. Filing a workers’ compensation claim may help someone who has been injured pay their bills until they recover.