Poultry and meat processing workers have some of the most dangerous jobs in Minnesota and across the United States, according to a report by the National Employment Law Project. The report analyzed severe injury data collected by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration over a 21-month period.
The report found that OSHA received 180 severe injury reports involving poultry processing workers between January 2015 and September 2016. That means that the poultry processing industry ranked 12th, with more severe injuries than the saw mill, auto and steel industries.
Overall, 14,000 companies from 29 states reported injuries during the 21-month period studied for the report. Of those companies, there were three chicken and meat processing companies ranked among the top 15 firms with the highest number of reported severe worker injuries. Cargill was ranked 14th, JBS/Pilgrim’s Pride was ranked 6th and Tyson Foods was ranked 4th. A representative for NELP noted that poultry workers should not be put in harm’s way in order to make a living. The organization also said that many severe injuries can be prevented by following basic OSHA safety rules.
Most poultry and meat processing workers injured on the job are eligible to file for workers’ compensation benefits, which cover medical expenses and in some cases provide partial wage replacement. Some workers find it helpful to consult with an attorney before submitting their workers’ compensation claim to ensure all necessary documentation is included. If a workers’ compensation claim is denied, an attorney could help file an appeal on the worker’s behalf.
Source: Powder Bulk Solids, “OSHA Data Shows Poultry Processing Among ‘Most Dangerous” Jobs“, April 28, 2017