Laceration injuries and infections among workers in the poultry processing and pork meatpacking industries

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BackgroundWorkers in poultry processing and pork meatpacking have high rates of acute injuries and chronic disease among. The presence of zoonotic pathogens in these workplaces may interact with injury.MethodsWe investigated incidence of worker injuries, lacerations, and infections reported by 10 companies from 2004 to 2009 and calculated annual incidence rates by industry and company along with temporal trends and job-related risk factors.ResultsAverage annual mean total injury rates were 6.4 per 100 workers (poultry) and 13.2 per 100 workers (pork). Average annual mean rates for lacerations were 1.8 per 100 workers (poultry) and 1.9 per 100 (pork). Sharp tools and animal products were most frequently reported as sources for lacerations. Animal products were most frequently reported as sources of infected lacerations.ConclusionsThe results indicate that these industries continue to have high injury rates. The results also suggest that zoonotic pathogens may be preventable health and safety risks. Am. J. Ind. Med. 57:669–682, 2014. © 2014 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

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