The nation already understands about dangerous working conditions, but chicken processing plants are apparently some of the country’s worst offenders. Recent reports indicate that workers in this industry are subject to numerous workplace injuries and medical problems. A new report says that these problems occur due to “rampant health and safety issues” present in America’s chicken processing industry.
The report details one worker’s hand injuries, which worsened over time as he continued to work. The worker claims that the onsite nurse told him his injuries were not cause to worry. However, when he finally sought medical help, the doctor told him “he’d never seen injuries as bad” as the worker’s. The worker also said the supervisor ignored the work restrictions given out by the doctor and returned him to work on the processing line.
According to Oxfam America, the nation’s demand for affordably-priced chicken has driven processing plants to increase the speed of processing lines. The organization says today’s speeds are two times faster than they were in 1979. This means that workers are processing about 140 chickens each minute compared with 91 chickens per minute in the late 1970s.
These increased speeds, along with the repetitive motions workers use, create a prime atmosphere for workplace injuries such as severe pain, tingling in some parts of the body and loss of grip, among others. Reportedly, chicken processing workers suffer more carpal tunnel syndrome, repetitive strain injuries and musculoskeletal disorders than many other industries.
Chicken processing plants thrive in North Carolina, employing a large volume of workers. While these workers need the income, they do not deserve to be repeatedly injured for their efforts. An attorney can provide you with additional information if you work in this industry and are suffering from workplace injuries.
Source: Think Progress, “The Hellish Conditions Facing Workers At Chicken Processing Plants,” Bryce Covert, Oct. 27, 2015