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Giving thanks for poultry industry’s injury rate decline

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Poultry processing is one of North Carolina agriculture’s growing segments, bringing in to our state billions of dollars and tens of thousands of jobs. When the Dept. of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) says occupational injuries and illnesses are down in the poultry sector, it’s good news for us.

BLS’s recently released 2016 safety report shows that last year, the recordable injuries and illness rate in the poultry sector was 4.2 per 100 workers. That is down slightly from the 4.3 per 100 workers in 2015.

The poultry industry’s 4.2 rate was well below the 6.9 injury/illness rate for similar agricultural industries, the BLS notes. It is also below the 4.7 rate per 100 workers for the food manufacturing sector as a whole.

The injury and illness rate glows even brighter when placed in historical perspective. Back in 1992, the recorded injury/illness rate in the poultry industry was a whopping 22.7. Today’s rate is 82 percent lower.

“The poultry industry continues to concentrate its efforts on the prevention of workplace injuries and illnesses,” said a statement by the Joint Industry Safety and Health Council on the BLS report. They said they have lowered their injury rate by “recognizing the benefit of implementing ergonomics and medical intervention principles, while continually effecting new technology and automation in the workplace.”

Hopefully their good work will continue into the future.

Workers who do suffer job-related injuries or illnesses have the right to apply for North Carolina workers’ compensation. If you have been denied earned and deserved benefits, contact a workers’ comp appeals attorney.