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Injury Risks to Poultry Workers Expected to Increase

on 04/17/2013

Across the country, workers in poultry processing plants are exposed to a high risk of injuries, mainly because they are forced to work at high speeds at processing lines.  According to some reports as many as 59% of poultry workers develop dangerous injuries like repetitive stress injuries, because of the high-speed work.  The risk to such workers is likely increase because the Department Of Agriculture is all set to implement new rules that would allow poultry factories to speed up inspection lines at factories. 

Those new regulations are likely to be implemented in the month of April, and under the new regulations, work will be done at five times the current speed.  Under the new regulations, poultry workers would be required to inspect as many as 175 birds a minute, or more than one per second.  At those unreasonable speeds, workers are at a high risk of suffering wrist injuries, repetitive stress injuries, carpal tunnel syndrome, and other illnesses.

The report titled Unsafe at These Speeds: Alabama's Poultry Industry and Its Disposable Workers finds that approximately 75% of poultry workers suffer some type of significant injuries or illnesses.  In fact, these poultry workers have an injury rate that is much higher than the rate for other workers across the United States.  In 2010, the federal administration reported that these workers had an injury rate of 5.9%, which was much higher than the rate of 3.8% for all American workers.

A number of worker advocacy groups as well as Austin work injury lawyers have been adding their voice to growing calls for the Department of Agriculture to withdraw its proposal that would require speeding up of these infection lines.

Tags: Workplace Injury, Workers Compensation

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