Everyday thousands of workers report to chicken plants to earn their daily living. Inside the plants you’ll find these workers standing close to each other as chickens zip through processing lines at high speeds. This is a process that goes on for eight hours to prepare the birds for restaurants and dinner tables. This work serves as a lucrative foundation for many as it supplies the most popular meat. However, it does come with its downfalls. As a worker you face relentless pressures of the mechanizing lines leaving you prone to injuries.
You will find that most of your fellow workers have suffered some form of illness or injury that is work related. They endure this pain in their hands; have respiratory problems, chemical burns and gnarled fingers resulting from repeated motion. Processing lines move quickly, making the work more dangerous. The most common injury you will find is musculoskeletal disorders due the speed it moves, as it is not designed for humans.
The speed of the processing lines leads to an increased risk of gashes and cuts for those handling saws, scissors, and knives. You are not only risking cutting yourself but also those standing close to you. Surveys that have been done have shown that about 18% of the workers trimming, cutting, and de-boning the chicken have suffered cuts that were serious and required medical attention. These cuts could get worse if not taken care of. Continuous exposure to the water in the carcasses could make the bandages dislodge and the wound could become infected, taking longer to heal.
In the chicken plant, it is hard to determine the number of injuries as the data that is collected underreports on the severity and frequencies of illnesses and injuries in the workplace. The employers in chicken plants should log injuries on the log of work related illnesses and injuries form. They are instructed to log all illnesses and injuries that are work related and result in medical treatment, job transfer, loss of consciousness, and death.
Most workers don’t report their injuries as they are afraid of retaliation from their bosses. Additionally, your bosses may also give incentives to under-report the illnesses, keeping your premium compensations low, preventing inspections, and also avoiding paying higher wages due to hazardous environments. Due to this, most injuries become invisible in terms of official reporting.
Also, use of chemicals to treat the poultry in the chicken plants has left workers exposed to larger amounts of harmful chemicals. This leaves workers exposed to sinus problems, sinus ulcers, irritated eyes, rashes, burns, severe respiratory problems, and asthma. No wide study has been done on the workers safety where these chemicals are concerned. In addition, you will find also there is no comprehensive record of illnesses caused by these chemicals to workers.
How John Snyder Can Help You
There are no set guidelines that can be used to protect workers and you cannot bring a lawsuit to protest the dangerous working condition or respond to your employer’s retaliation when you report these unsafe working conditions.
However, experienced workers’ compensation attorney John Snyder is dedicated in protecting your rights as a chicken plant worker. You may not be aware of your right when injured on the job in terms of benefits. This ignorance is something your employer would exploit and John and his team will work with you to ensure your rights are not violated. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation.