Report describes dangers in the poultry industry

March 20, 2013

​Montgomery, AL – Poultry workers commonly suffer job-related injuries, and a proposed rule allowing employers to increase line speeds may increase the danger, concludes a report from the Southern Poverty Law Center and the Alabama Appleseed Center for Law and Justice.

The report (.pdf file) is based on interviews with 302 current and former poultry workers in Alabama, the third highest poultry-producing state.

Seventy-two percent of respondents reported experiencing injuries such as hand injuries due to repetitive motion, cuts, chemical burns and respiratory problems – yet almost 70 percent were not comfortable asking their employer to fix hazards. Likewise, 66 percent said their co-workers were afraid to report injuries.

Recommendations given in the report include the U.S. Department of Agriculture withdrawing its proposed rule that would increase poultry-processing line speeds, and OSHA regulating line speeds and issuing an ergonomics standard to reduce repetitive-motion injuries in the poultry industry.