Thanks to a commitment by the industry and a partnership with OSHA and the United Food and Commercial Workers union to develop the first ever industry specific ergonomic guidelines, lost workday illnesses and injuries - those requiring days away from work to recuperate - now stand at the lowest level ever recorded, according to data recently released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) covering 2009 annual safety results.
Meat packing and processing jobs are not without risk. However, The meat and poultry industry’s commitment to improving worker and workplace safety is reflected in the significant and consistent decline in illness and injury rates among its 500,000 workers for nearly two decades.
BLS’ 2009 data reports 6.9 injury occurrences per 100 full-time workers per year. This is a reduction of 8% from 2008 results. The more serious injuries, those requiring lost work days exhibited a decrease from the 2008 rate of 5.0 to a rate of 4.6 in 2009; also a reduction of 8%. Both the total incidents rate and the more severe lost workday case rate currently stand at all-time lows for the industry.