A survey of injuries occurring in the meatpacking industry (SIC- 2011) was conducted. Two data bases (the Bureau of Labor Statistics and the Supplementary Data System) for the period 1976 to 1981 were used. Meatpacking facilities had a 5 year average injury incidence rate of 31.4 percent and a 15.02 lost workday case rate. These rates corresponded to approximately 50,000 injuries per year and approximately 25,000 injuries serious enough to cause at least 1 day of work to be lost. Over 34 percent of all lost time injuries occurred among workers less than 26 years old and 32 percent occurred within the first 12 months of service. The highest incidence of injury occurred among meatcutters, butchers, and laborers, the total rate for all three job titles being 63 percent. Thirty nine percent of all injuries were due to knives, animals, and meat products. Approximately 13,350 out of 104,701 reported cases resulted in death or permanent disability. Of these, 10,057 (96 percent) were meatcutters, butchers, or laborers. About 30.5 percent of all injuries were cuts and lacerations and 31 percent were sprains and strains. The author concludes that in the meatpacking industry, young and inexperienced workers have the greatest risk of being injured.
NIOSH, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Cincinnati, Ohio, 66 pages, 31 references