As someone who works in the food-processing industry, your risk of suffering an on-the-job injury exceeds that of others who work in non-food-related manufacturing roles. Per Business Insurance, the injury rate for those in other manufacturing roles is about 4.3 injuries for every 100 full-time workers while, for food-processing workers, the injury rate rises to five injuries for every 100 full-time employees.
As an employee in this environment, you face certain industry-specific hazards and risks, many of which are avoidable if your employer takes appropriate and necessary safety precautions and ensures you are well-trained in how to perform the duties of your job.
Common food-processing industry hazards
Strains and sprains are among the injuries commonly suffered by those in your industry, and some of these are avoidable if you take care not to carry packages that are too heavy. Donning the proper protective gear when cutting and using sharp knives also reduces your risk of an on-the-job injury. Some food-processing companies, too, are transitioning to the use of machinery for certain jobs once performed by workers, such as gutting and cutting poultry, and this, too, may improve safety throughout the industry.
Your risk of a food-processing injury also increases as your level of education about the job decreases, and this may prove particularly true if you work in a kitchen. Language barriers, high turnover rates and insufficient training are all likely contributors to the number of injuries suffered by food-processing workers in kitchens. The young age and inexperience of many kitchen workers may also play a role.
Additional ways to reduce your risk of injury
While new technologies that allow for more control over machinery used in the food-processing industry are likely to reduce the number of injuries suffered by workers like you, some safety advocates also advise rotating jobs during the work day to minimize your risk.
As a food processor, you face specific work-related hazards every time you clock in for the day or night. If you suffered an injury while at work, you may want to speak with an attorney.