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Meatpacker worker injuries declined in 2019

Data published by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) late last month shows that the meatpacking industry recorded its lowest workplace injury rate of all times in 2019. The non-fatal injury rate was four per 100 workers last year, a significant improvement over the 17.1 per 100 person rate from 1999. There are some valid reasons for this decrease in non-fatal injuries in the meatpacking industry.

Potential contributing factors leading to a decrease in adverse events

In August, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and the Meat Institute signed a two-year agreement to provide meatpacking workers with additional safety training beyond what they historically received.

The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Meat Institute also highlights how both poultry and meat production companies increased the amount of money that they spend on researching and implementing ideas for reducing worker illness and injury risks in recent years. She notes that the investment these companies made amounts to several billion dollars.

Injuries that are most common in the meatpacking industry

Meatpacking workers often work in close quarters around large, heavy machinery and harsh chemicals. It’s not uncommon for employees in this field to suffer struck by injuries, have a hand or arm get stuck in a piece of equipment, or suffer respiratory side effects from breathing in toxic chemicals used to clean meatpacking plants. Injury or fatality risks don’t stop there, though.

What you can do if you suffered injuries on the job

New York workers’ compensation laws may allow you to receive medical care at your employer’s expense. Your eligibility for such benefits is contingent upon your employment classification and other factors. A workers’ compensation attorney will want to know more about your work situation, the onset of your injury or illness and further details before advising you whether you qualify for benefits in your Manhattan case.