Slaughterhouse Worker Injury Lawyer
The rate of slaughterhouse worker injuries is alarmingly high, and most times, slaughterhouse employees are often not properly compensated for their injuries.
Work-related injuries are unfortunately all too common in meat processing facilities. These injuries can be severe and debilitating, leaving slaughterhouse employees unable to work for an extended period.
The workers’ compensation attorneys at Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers, LLC have represented many clients who have been injured while working in a meatpacking plant. We understand the severe nature of these injuries and the long-term effects they can have on your life. We will fight to get you the compensation you deserve.
Contact our personal injury law firm at (888) 424-5757 or fill out our online form to schedule a free consultation with one of our slaughterhouse workers' compensation lawyers today. We work on a contingency fee basis, so we aren’t paid unless we win your case.
Injury Rates at Chicago Slaughterhouses
The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) regulates the meatpacking facility and requires that they keep records of all employee injuries. Based on these occupational injury reports, the USDA calculates the incidence rate of injuries for each meatpacking plant.
The most recent data available from the USDA shows that the overall incidence rate of injuries in Chicago slaughterhouses is 5.8 per 100 full-time workers. It is significantly higher than the national average of 4.0 injuries per 100 full-time employees.
According to the North American Meat Institute (NAMI), the accident rate in beef processing facilities is significantly higher than the accident rate in pork and poultry plants.
The NAMI states that the accident rate for beef processing facilities is 10.5 per 100 full-time employees, while the accident rate for pork and poultry plants is 5.1 per 100 full-time employees.
US Bureau of Labor Slaughterhouse Statistics
According to the BLS report, there were 7,610 workplace injuries in meatpacking and processing plant in 2017. This statistic includes 5,490 injuries that resulted in days away from work or restricted work duties.
The Human Rights Watch and officials from the Food Safety and Inspection Services analyzed these records.
They published a report in 2019 entitled "Blood, Sweat, and Fear: Worker Safety in the U.S. Meatpacking Industry." This report found that the injury incidence rate in slaughterhouses is alarmingly high. The report states:
"The meatpacking facility has an alarmingly high rate of injuries among workers. Our analysis of the most recent data from the BLS shows that in 2017, the industry-wide incidence rate for nonfatal occupational injuries and illnesses was more than twice that for all private industries.”
The Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) also has a meatpacking and processing facility program. This program is known as the Hazard Identification and Control Program (HICP).
The goal of the HICP is to prevent workplace injury and illness in the meatpacking and processing plant. OSHA conducts inspections of meat processing facilities to identify potential hazards and works with the meatpacking facilities to control these hazards.
Causes and Types of Injuries Among Meatpacking Workers
The work of meatpacking and slaughterhouse workers is notoriously dangerous. The BLS reports that meatpacking facilities have one of the highest worker injuries and occupational illness rates in the United States.
There are many hazards associated with slaughtering animals and processing meat, including:
Sharp Tools and Machinery
Slaughterhouse workers use sharp knives and other dangerous tools and machinery daily. These tools can easily cause serious cuts, lacerations, and amputations.
The repetitive nature of the work can lead to injuries from repetitive motions and increased production speeds, such as carpal tunnel syndrome.
Slip and Fall
The floors of meat processing plants are often slippery with blood and other liquids. It can lead to a slip and fall, resulting in serious injury. Slip and fall accidents often result in broken bones, head injuries, and wrist fractures.
The heavy lifting, increased production speeds, and repetitive movements associated with meatpacking work can also lead to musculoskeletal disorders such as back pain and tendonitis.
Exposure to Harmful Chemicals and Substances
Workers in meatpacking plants or other industries are often exposed to harmful chemicals and substances, such as ammonia, chlorine, and bloodborne pathogens. This exposure can lead to serious health problems, such as respiratory illness.
If you have been injured while working in a meatpacking plant, you may be entitled to workers' compensation benefits. You may also have a personal injury claim against the company if your illness was caused by negligence. An experienced workers' compensation attorney can help you investigate your compensation claim.
Claiming Compensation for Accidents in a Slaughterhouse
If you have been injured in a meatpacking plant, you may be entitled to workers' compensation benefits. Workers' compensation is a system of insurance that provides benefits to employees who are injured on the job. In most states, employers are required to carry workers' compensation insurance which will help to cover:
It is not necessary to prove that employers are at fault for an accident to receive workers' compensation in most cases. However, there are some exceptions. For example, if your employer intentionally harmed you or if a defective product caused your injury, you may be able to file a personal injury lawsuit against your employer.
To win a negligence claim, you will need to prove that the company owed you a duty of care, that the company breached this duty, and that you were injured due to this breach. For example, if the company fails to maintain a safe workplace or provide adequate safety training, you may be able to file a negligence claim.
How to Calculate the Value of a Claim for an Injury in a Slaughterhouse
The value of your claim will depend on several factors, including:
- The severity of your injury
- Costs of your medical treatment
- Effect your injury has had on your ability to work
You may also be able to recover damages for pain and suffering. The value of your claim will depend on whether you can prove that the company was at fault for your accident.
We Assist You in Obtaining Your Workers’ Compensation Benefits
Were you injured at work? You may be entitled to workers’ compensation benefits, but the claims process can be complicated. A qualified workers' compensation attorney can help you navigate the system and get the benefits you need and deserve.
Our Chicago, IL law firm has represented many workers who have been injured while working in a meatpacking plant. We understand the unique risks that these workers face every day, and we know how to help them get the benefits they need to recover from their slaughterhouse injuries.
Contact our law firm today for a free consultation with an experienced workers’ compensation lawyer. We will review your case and explain your rights and options under the law, and you will not pay us anything unless we win your case. The attorney-client relationship protects all sensitive and confidential information.