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Poultry plant workers subject to carpal tunnel syndrome

Government agencies are working together to improve safety conditions at poultry plants in Ohio and across the country. While a recent study found that line speed does not significantly contribute to an increase in worker injuries and disorders, researchers have found that, of 318 workers at one plant involving repetition and force tasks, 42 percent had evidence of carpal tunnel syndrome.  

Other musculoskeletal disorders and injuries that could lead to workers' compensation claims were also identified as risks with full-time work over an extended period in the poultry industry.

The study was conducted by the National Institute of Occupational Safety at the request of the company that owns the plant.

The resulting report from NIOSH makes recommendations to the company regarding protecting employees from suffering repetitive stress injuries. The report makes recommendations on the frequency at which workers should get breaks from performing repetitive tasks and whether the platforms they stand on are the correct heights. It also recommends methods regarding how knives are sharpened and handled to prevent a workplace injury.  

Carpal tunnel and other repetitive trauma injuries can cause workers great damages. Such injuries are not only painful, but they are also difficult to treat. Many workers are forced to take time off of work in order to recover from these injuries. Workers in Ohio need to be aware that they may be entitled to workers’ compensation benefits if they struggle with a repetitive trauma injury. It can be wise to seek legal counsel to learn about your workers’ compensation rights.

Source: Food Safety News, “NIOSH Study: Line Speed Not an Issue in Poultry Inspection Overhaul,” Dan Flynn, March 21, 2014

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The Bainbridge Firm, LLC

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