Every day, people in Illinois get up and go to their jobs anticipating the end of the day’s work when they will come home to relax. But if a person is one of the thousands who work in a meat or poultry packing industry, he or she may go home in pain due to a workplace injury or illness. In fact, the country’s meat and poultry industry has recently been reported to have the highest rate of injuries than any other manufacturing industry.
Some common medical issues reported by these workers include musculoskeletal disorders from repetitive and forceful motions, injuries from falling, burns, cuts and exposure to pathogens and chemicals. There have also been several reports of amputated fingers. Allegedly, thousands of workers in the meat and poultry industry are not allowed to stop to use the bathroom because it slows production. This is one example of how some workers may be forced to work beyond what is safe or healthy for them.
In reality, the number of injuries may be much higher because official reports only include data from incidents that are reported. The only data collected by the Department of Labor involves employees who miss work because of their illnesses or injuries. Additionally, many injuries are not reported because workers are undocumented or they fear losing their jobs. These workers may suffer silently because they feel that have no other choice.
Workers who are injured or becomes ill from their jobs, no matter what type of industry they work for, may find themselves stuck in a frustrating cycle. There are laws that protect workers from unhealthy and unsafe work environments. Those in Illinois who feel they are being forced to work in unhealthy conditions may wish to speak to an attorney who is experienced in fighting for the rights of anyone who suffers from a workplace injury.
Source: mainenewsonline.com, “GAO report details about risks being faced by workers of meat and poultry packing industry“, Tanya Campbell, May 27, 2016