As a result of changes in federal regulations, the United States Department of Agriculture has allowed some poultry processing plants to increase the speed of their production lines. Georgia is the largest producer of broilers, but before applying for a position within the Peach State’s poultry processing industry you may wish to consider checking for negative reports regarding a company’s safety record.
When a company receives fines or penalties for poor workplace safety and health conditions, the information is usually accessible to the public through an online news search. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s website may also reveal company-specific safety issues.
Because of increased poultry production capacities, factory workers in Georgia may find themselves facing a much greater risk of on-the-job accidents. In Alabama, employees at one of the nation’s largest poultry plants have experienced higher-than-average numbers of workplace injuries. As reported by Advance Local Media’s AL.com, many of the plant’s on-the-job accidents and a tragic death resulted from below-standard safety conditions. The plant’s increased production speeds have allegedly resulted in dangerous ammonia leaks, lost fingers and employee falls.
OSHA generally sends inspectors to investigate companies when it receives reports of suspected violations. Investigations, however, may take several months before a company incurs fines for violating safety standards. OSHA may also require a company to make changes to its facilities to remain in compliance with federal safety standards.
The combination of higher production speeds and below-standard safety conditions may contribute to catastrophic accidents, including amputations and employee deaths. Individuals who suffer a non-fatal accident while at work may file for workers’ compensation benefits. Compensation may also cover work-related medical conditions such as repetitive stress injuries or carpal tunnel syndrome.