U.S. meat industry illness rates at lowest level

by Editor fleischwirtschaft.com
Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Meat industry injury and illness incidence rates now stand at the lowest level ever recorded, according to data recently released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) covering 2007 annual safety results.

Overall, the meat industry’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) recordable rates have improved by 72% since the industry adopted ergonomics guidelines in 1990 and made worker safety a non-competitive issue.

The animal slaughter and processing sector’s total industry recordable rate – cases per 100 full-time workers – dropped 7.7% in 2007, from 9.1 to 8.4. Animal slaughter and processing’s total industry DART rate, which includes cases of a more serious nature, declined as well to 5.5 in 2007 from 6.2 in 2006, a reduction of 11.3%.

The red meat slaughter sector injury and illness rates declined by 3.2% to 12.1 in 2007 from 12.5 per 100 full-time workers in 2006. Poultry slaughter and processing also showed good improvement, at 6.1 per 100 full time workers in 2007, down 7.6% from a rate of 6.6 in 2006. Red meat processing injury and illness rates declined 16.3% to 8.2 per 100 full time workers in 2007 from 9.8 for 2006.

AMI President J. Patrick Boyle said, that these encouraging trends would confirm that the meat industry’s decision to make worker safety a non-competitive issue and work cooperatively to enhance workplace safety has created measurable and meaningful workplace safety improvements.
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