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Work-related injuries in the meatpacking industry.

Conroy C
J Saf Res 1989 Jun; 20(2):47-53
An analysis of occupational injuries in the meatpacking industry (SIC-2011) was performed. Data from the National Traumatic Occupational Fatality database for 1980 to 1985, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) annual survey of occupational injuries and illnesses for 1982 through 1985, and the BLS supplementary data system for 1982 through 1984 were analyzed. The average injury rate from 1982 through 1985 was 27.6 injuries per 100 workers per year. The average annual incidence rate for lost work time injuries was 13.5 injuries/100 workers. The work related death rate was almost three deaths per 100,000 workers. Eighty six percent of the nonfatal injuries were to males. About 45 percent of the male injuries were the result of being struck by or against objects, versus 28 percent for females. Approximately 44 percent of the female injuries were overexertion injuries versus only 28 percent of the male injuries. Fifty five percent of the injuries occurred to workers 20 to 34 years of age. The incidence of injuries by occupation was: meat cutter, 49 percent; butcher, 2 percent; meat packer and wrapper, 4 percent; material handler, 7 percent; and laborer, 9 percent. Seventy six percent of the injuries consisted of strains, sprains, lacerations, contusions, and abrasions. Approximately 22.5 percent of the injuries involved the fingers, 15.5 percent the back, 11.7 percent the arms, and 8.6 percent the hand. The author concludes that the occupations experiencing the highest rate of injuries in the meatpacking industry are butcher, meat cutter, and meat wrapper and packer. This finding suggests that preventive efforts should be directed toward workers in these jobs. On site surveillance systems are needed to study workers who are at risk and to evaluate prevention efforts.
NIOSH-Author; Information-systems; Occupational-accidents; Accident-analysis; Industrial-safety; Meat-packing-industry; Sex-factors; Accident-statistics; Age-factors; Materials-handling
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Journal of Safety Research
Page last reviewed: May 11, 2023
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division