Those working in the meat processing and packaging industry are among the very few who actually understand how our food is made and processed before reaching our tables. They also understand the dangers that workers responsible for producing our food must face on a regular basis and how one minor error can have tragic consequences. The Chicago workplace injury attorneys of Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers represent the interests of those workers who have been injured while performing the work so many of us couldn’t imagine just so that the rest of us can eat.
Meat Packing and Food Processing Work is Filled with Challenges and Risks
The food industry as a whole tends to operate on very small margins, which can lead employers to demand a lot from their workers. The fast-paced environment that these workers operate in is the leading contributor to accidents, as those who are in a hurry to meet quotas are far more likely to make mistakes. Following are some of the most common ways meat processing workers can be injured.
- Repetitive use injuries— workers in this industry often perform the same motions over and over, whether it is lifting product or operating the same machine for eight or more hours a day. This can cause injuries to the muscles or joints over time which may eventually require therapy or surgery.
- Pathogens and chemicals— pesticides, bacteria and parasites that often live in raw meat can pose a hazard to meat packaging and processing workers and it is possible for them to become severely ill, requiring them to take time off during their recoveries.
- Amputation— working with machines that are designed to cut meat quickly and efficiently can be extremely dangerous. The same sharp devices that allow workers to process thousands of pounds of meat every hour can easily take off a finger or a hand. This is most common when the worker is attempting to clear an obstruction in the machine and gets his or her hand caught in a pinch point.
- Crush injuries— just as getting a limb caught in a machine can result in amputation, it can also result in disfigurement or crushed bones. Workers who are injured in their manner may never be the same again and may need to undergo multiple surgeries in hopes of being able to lead normal lives.
- Burns and scars— machines can become very hot when they are designed to cut and process large quantities of food and contact with exposed and heated metal can result in serious burns, scars and disfigurement.
- Slip and fall accidents— meat processing plants are often very cramped. Many workers can operate in a confined area and the presence of moisture or objects on the ground can easily cause a worker to trip or slip.
The Rights of Workers Injured in Food Processing Accidents are Guaranteed
If you have been injured while at the workplace, you are guaranteed worker’s compensation benefits, even if your accident was due to a mistake that was your fault. Some employers may try to make workers prove they were not at fault and this may allow you to seek additional compensation as a punitive measure for the employer’s failure to adhere to the law.
Understanding your rights will protect you from deceptive tactics used by employers and insurance companies to deprive you of your rights and the full amount of benefits to which you are entitled. Our Chicago work injury lawyers can educate you on your rights so that you do not fall prey to these methods.
Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers has helped thousands of workers recover the maximum amount of compensation they are guaranteed under law. If you’ve been injured, we invite you to contact us today so that you can arrange a free case review with one of our award winning Chicago workplace injury attorneys. If we are unable to secure compensation on your behalf, our services will be completely free of charge.