This was a 3-year retrospective cohort study of traumatic injuries in a midwestern pork meatpacking plant. Based on n = 5410 workers, this was a diverse workforce: Caucasian (56.6%), Hispanic (38.9%), African American (2.7%), Asian (1.1%) and Native American (0.8%). There were n = 1655 employees with traumatic injuries during this period. At 6 months of employment, the probability of injury was 33% in the harvest workers who were responsible for slaughter operations. The overall incidence injury rate was 22.76 per 100 full-time employees per year. Women experienced a higher incidence for injury than men. The risk ratio (RR) for traumatic injury was significantly lower in Hispanic workers compared to Caucasians (RR = 0.54, 95% CI = 0.49-0.60) and nonsignificantly higher in African American and Native American workers after adjusting for age, gender, work section assignment, and experience (RR = 1.33, 95% CI = 1.21-1.47). These findings suggest that either Hispanics are very safe employees or they underreport injuries. We make the case for the latter in the discussion.
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