Safety and Health in Meatpacking

Article excerpt

Safety and health in meatpacking

The Excel Corp., the third largest meat processing company in the Nation, and the United Food and Commercial Workers signed an agreement, covering 8,600 meatpacking employees in 10 of the company's 14 plants, that establishes a comprehensive program to reduce injuries caused by repetitive motion, commonly referred to as cumulative trauma disorders.

The program will use ergonomics to modify working conditions to fit workers. The company reportedly will furnish consultant and medical staff, train employees to become "ergonomic monitors" (to spot problems and work with supervisors to correct them), and provide orientation and training programs for new hires, as well as comprehensive preventive training for all employees. Other aspects of the program include a study of changes that must be made in the tools, equipment, and procedures used in the production process to ease employees' physical stress; and a study of changes needed in the medical treatment of injured employees. …