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Poultry processing workers incur high rate of workplace injuries, illnesses

BLS data show higher rate of injuries than other private industry workers

Posted October 9, 2018

Data collected by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) from 2016 show poultry processing workers had a rate of 4.2 cases of nonfatal workplace injuries and illnesses per 100 full-time equivalent workers, which was higher than the rate of 2.9 cases for all private industry workers.

According to the BLS, approximately 230,000 workers were employed in poultry processing in 2016. The work mostly involves slaughtering or preparing poultry and small game, and the repetitive motions of hanging poultry or using a knife led to a higher rate of cases involving job transfer or restriction than days away from work. Data showed a rate of 13.3 cases of days away from work due to repetitive motion per 10,000 full-time workers, in comparison with a rate of 2.1 cases for all private industry workers.

While poultry processing workers have a higher overall rate of nonfatal workplace injuries and illnesses, their rates have declined since 2003.

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