You have the right to a safe, clean working environment. But sometimes your employer puts the needs of the company above your own needs. If you work in the food processing industry, you might know this better than anyone else.
An increase in speed
Fast-moving production lines are a natural — and necessary — part of your job. To keep up with product consumption, these lines must move quickly in order to meet production goals. Recently, however, line speed regulations have been lifted in favor of increasing those production goals. But faster line speeds make working conditions more dangerous for employees.
While increasing speeds may boost production, it also increases your chances of getting seriously injured.
Your role on a production line may have you performing the same task every day. Whether it’s twisting, cutting, pulling or lifting, these actions can take a toll on your body. You can damage your joints, muscles, tendons and nerves simply by doing your job.
Because of high line speeds, you might not have many opportunities to rest or take a quick break to stretch your muscles and relieve cramps or tension. Without relief, your injuries can become more pronounced over time until they make it painful — or even impossible — for you to do your job.
Cuts and lacerations
Knives, slicers and other sharp objects are common tools you might use on the job, especially in the meat industry. These tools are already dangerous, even when you’re working at a slower pace. But in order to keep up with fast production rates, you might have to trade caution for speed. This can result in serious cuts and lacerations to any part of your body.
If you don’t work with sharp tools, you might work near large machinery with unguarded moving parts. When you’re focused on keeping up with the rest of production, you might not notice how close your fingers or hands get to these dangerous machines until it’s too late.
With faster line speeds, the chance of serious workplace accidents are higher than ever. Receiving an injury that prevents you from doing your job can have life-changing consequences. Filing a workers’ compensation claim can get you the benefits you may be entitled to after suffering an injury on the production line.