Occupational injuries and illnesses in the poultry slaughter and processing workforce have fallen by 83 percent over the last 20 years. According to the 2017 Injury and Illness Report released by the Department of Labor, the decline is continuing.
The total poultry processing injury and illness rate of 3.8 cases per 100 full-time employees, down from 4.2 cases the year before. The poultry industry’s rate of 3.8 is below the rate of 6.4 cases per 100 full-time workers in similar industries. It’s also lower than the rate of 4.5 for the entire food manufacturing sector.
The poultry processing industry rate of 3.8 cases represents an 83 percent decrease from 1994, which is the oldest year that data is available on the Bureau of Labor Statistics website. The industry rate in 1994 was 22.4 cases per 100 workers, which shows the industry has made big advancements in workplace safety for its employees.
The Joint Industry Safety and Health Council says employee safety continues to be of utmost importance to the industry. “The poultry industry continues to focus on preventing workplace injuries and illnesses by recognizing the benefit of implementing ergonomics and medical intervention principles,” the council said in a statement.