As Thanksgiving approaches, people often spare a thought for the turkeys who sacrifice their lives. Yet, it is not only the birds that give their lives. Sometimes the poultry workers do, too.
A quick scan of the internet will bring up numerous articles citing the dangers poultry workers face on a day-to-day basis. One of the latest issues to hit the headlines concerns a North Carolina plant, where employees complain of suffering due to a new chemical their employer introduced.
The workers interviewed described the unknown chemical stinging their eyes and throat and leaving them with headaches. Others reported fainting and lung infections. Working on a poultry production line can be unpleasant enough without such added health issues.
Physical injury is common among poultry workers
It is not only chemical hazards you have to worry about as poultry workers. The industry has some of the highest rates of amputation injuries. Bosses push you to maintain high speeds for hours at a time without adequate breaks. Due to the low pay, you may have to take overtime, tiring your body and mind further and leaving you even more susceptible to injury.
Repetitive strain injuries are another major worry when working on a production line. Your body is designed to move around and perform different tasks, not to stand still and repeat the same movements for hours at a time.
If you suffer an injury while processing poultry, it will likely still affect you long after Thanksgiving has passed. Poultry employers are notorious for lacking care in their treatment of workers and failing to uphold adequate safety standards. If you are injured while working for them, you will need help to ensure you get the total amount of workers’ compensation benefits you are due.