Injuries Take Toll on Food Industry Workers, Employers
Nearly 20,000 workers suffered nonfatal workplace injuries in 2016 in the food manufacturing industry, according to research cited in a recent article by EHS Daily Advisor, which provides insights on the environment, health and safety management practices.
Common injuries for food workers include:
- Sprains, strains and tears – 47 percent;
- Back pain and soreness – 20 percent;
- Musculoskeletal system and connective tissue diseases and disorders – 13 percent
- Hernias – 10 percent
- Carpal tunnel syndrome – 10 percent
The cost to food manufacturers includes:
- Hiring replacement workers
- Reduced productivity
- Repairs to damaged equipment
- Increased workers’ compensation insurance premiums
Employers have a legal and moral responsibility for the safety of employees. EHS says manufacturers in the food safety industry can help keep workers safe by:
- Understanding the causes of workplace accidents
- Implementing employee safety training programs
- Instituting controls to mitigate workplace hazards
- Providing safety tips for their workers
As one example, food manufacturing workers can suffer machinery-related injuries associated with their jobs. In these cases, responsible employers can take several measures to protect their workers:
- The placement of machine guarding reduces the chance workers will come into contact with the moving parts of a machine.
- The installation of fixed barriers and covers, guardrails, or safety nets over open surfaces.
- Lockout/tagout processes prevent equipment from unexpectedly turning on or releasing stored energy while being serviced, and undergoing maintenance or cleaning.
Don’t Get Red-Faced Over Red Tape
Unfortunately, many employers fail to take the steps to safeguard the health of their workers. They may believe the cost of implementing safety measures is too high or that it is more cost-efficient to have their lawyers and insurance companies fight your workers’ compensation claim.
If you’ve suffered a serious workplace accident in Mississippi, you may be facing a lengthy recovery. You may be unable to work while your bills – both your regular debts and now medical expenses – pile up. The extra financial burden may make it impossible to provide for your family. Your employer could be blaming you for the accident or challenging the extent of your injuries. An insurance company, knowing your situation is desperate, may offer a financial settlement that is tempting but far less than what you need or deserve.
Instead of getting desperate, get even. The Mississippi workers’ compensation lawyers at Tabor Law Firm, P.A., have been handling cases just like yours for a combined 30 years. Based in Ridgeland, they have extensive experience serving injured workers in Jackson and throughout the state. While the claims process can be confusing and frustrating, the lawyers at Tabor are experts at handling the bureaucracy, the red tape and the insurance companies while aggressively securing financial payment for your treatment and lost wages.
Contact them today for a free consultation.