For workers on the floor of the processing plants, there is no high pay or cushy benefits in the meat and poultry industry. What there is instead is a rate of injury and illness that continues to plague workers.
A recent report shows that the rates remain stubbornly higher than the injury and illness rates for the average worker in U.S. manufacturing. The Government Accountability Office report also notes that in the decade that ended in 2013, 154 meat and poultry workers died on the job.
“The conditions that these workers are forced to endure is an outrage," said U.S. Senator Bob Casey. He urges "basic justice" for the employees.
The report notes that musculoskeletal disorders are common the industry in which people are required to repeat certain movements hundreds, and even thousands, of times per day. These repetitive stress injuries (RSI) are typically in the hands and arms of workers who must repeat motions over and over, often with little rest.
RSI are common in other industries as well, says the Occupational Safety & Health Administration. People who work on computers for much of their work days often experience these repetitive motion injuries as well.
Common maladies include carpal tunnel syndrome, bursitis and tendonitis. These conditions can be found among construction workers, cashiers, assembly line workers and others in retail and manufacturing.
For those who have suffered on-the-job injuries and then had their workers' compensation claim denied, it can be useful to discuss the details of your situation with a Newburgh attorney experienced in workers' comp appeals.