Over the last century, the percentage of U.S. families involved in food production and packaging has dropped from around 70 percent to only 3 percent, making life on the farm completely foreign. Industrial production and mechanization has allowed Americans to enjoy an unprecedented variety of food year-round, despite the large drop-off in the amount of people actually employed throughout the food industry. The ability to do more work with fewer employees may create hazardous situations. The work is fast paced and any lapse of alertness can lead to a catastrophic accident. Also, repetitive motions on a daily basis may be stressful on the body. Since the profit margins are slim in the food industry, businesses demand high volume, which means line speeds are often set to the highest allowed by federal sanitation laws, rather than the speeds determined best for worker safety.
Common food industry injuries include amputations, fatal accidents, lifting injuries, moving machinery accidents, occupational disease, repetitive trauma, scars and burns and slip and fall accidents. Slip and fall accidents on food processing flooring are more common than you think. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that over 212,000 employees were seriously injured in 2009 by falls to the same or lower level. Spilled liquids, grease, oil, fat or cleaning substances may cause an accidental slip and fall that can break bones, injure joints or bruise brain tissue. There have been even greater risks in this environment including falls from heights in to vats of food or working machinery.
In reducing slip and fall accidents, you may consider a non-slip, yet hygienic flooring solution such as stainless steel. Stainless steel is designed for applications where sanitation, durability and safety are vital as well as corrosion resistance.
“Meat Processing and Food Packaging Workers.” Shor Levin the Bulldog Lawyers Meat Processing and Food Packaging Workers Comments. N.p., n.d. Web. 17 Sept. 2013.