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Injury rate in US poultry sector at all-time low

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Oscar Rousseau

By Oscar Rousseau+

03-Nov-2016

A joint statement from three US poultry boards said the sector will continue to 'protect' its workforce
A joint statement from three US poultry boards said the sector will continue to 'protect' its workforce

The rate of non-fatal workplace injuries sustained by Americans employed in the US poultry sector is now at the lowest point since 1994.

Injuries of full-time employees working in the US poultry sector remains at an all-time low, as the rate has dropped by 81% since 1994 – the oldest recorded data on the US Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).

The rate of injuries and illness directly linked to work in the poultry sector for 2015 stands at 4.3 cases per 100 full-time staff per year, according to a recently published 2015 Injury and Illness report from the BLS.

This is the same rate as was recorded in 2014, and is lower than the rate of 4.7 recorded for the entire food manufacturing sector.

Staff ‘most important asset’

It is lower than the rate of 7.2 recorded for the slaughter of animals, excluding poultry. A rate of 5.4 cases per 100 staff was reported for workers employed in abattoirs and processing sites for all meat categories.

Our employees are our most important asset, and their safety is of paramount importance,” said the National Chicken Council, National Turkey Federation and the US Poultry & Egg Association in a joint statement in response to the data release.

Perhaps more than any other industry, the poultry industry has focused its energies on the prevention of workplace injuries and illnesses, especially musculoskeletal disorders like carpal tunnel syndrome, by recognising the value of implementing ergonomics and medical intervention principles and continually embracing technology and automation in the workplace.

While the past two decades have seen a dramatic decrease in the numbers and rates of injury and illnesses, the poultry industry is committed to seeking new and innovative ways to protect our workforce.

The rate of 4.3 cases reported for the poultry industry represents an 81% drop from the 22.7 reported 22 years ago.

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