Meatpacking is a massive industry that is noted for its risks for injury. Meatpacking plant workers operate heavy machinery and are exposed to chemicals. It's a physical job, full of significant labor that never ends. And these are just a few of the risks that you face on the job.
Your employer should take steps to keep you safe. If they don't, you could get seriously injured on the job. Even when safety measures are implemented, you may still get injured because of the inherent danger of the profession.
To begin considering safety, let's take a look at some of the employer best practices that can help prevent injuries and keep meatpacking workers safe. These include:
- Providing all employees the proper personal protection equipment they need, such as gloves and safety glasses.
- Creating a program to protect employees' hearing when they are exposed to loud noises and consistent noise on the job.
- Putting safety guards, such as rails, in place to minimize the potential contact that employees have with dangerous machines and tools.
- Providing all employees the training they need to learn how to work safely.
- Training all employees on new machines and making sure they demonstrate a high level of proficiency before allowing them to work on their own.
- Using a lockout system on dangerous machines so they cannot accidentally start while workers are making repairs or otherwise exposed to a high level of risk.
- Keeping exit doors open and accessible at all times, and marking those doors clearly so it is easier for employees to find them in an emergency.
- Establishing safety standards that prevent mixing chemicals and instructions for reacting properly if there is a chemical spill or a leak.
- Improving ventilation and sanitation in the workplace to increase the general level of safety that workers see on a daily basis.
- Performing proper maintenance to make sure the workplace is safe, such as repairing broken steps or broken guardrails on walkways.
- Performing daily cleaning to ensure that employees do not have to deal with trip hazards, slick surfaces and other such hazards.
- Communicating with employees to make sure they understand that safety is important and so that they have a voice to ask questions when needed.
These steps can help make a meatpacking plant safer, but they cannot prevent all accidents and injuries.
What should you do?
If are hurt on the job, you may find yourself facing high medical bills, lost wages, lost earning potential and many other costs. Make sure you know what legal steps you should take.