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Meatpacking warehouse workers face repetitive motion injuries

Workers in various industries in Maryland and across the U.S. would agree that repeating a task continuously may cause them to experience serious discomfort and even receive injuries over time. Innocent workers who follow orders and do their jobs could be affected by long-term conditions and suffer from extensive injuries as a result of their jobs.

This is what happened to one warehouse worker who had to undergo surgery for a shoulder injury she received from engaging in repetitive tasks. Meatpacking warehouse workers have indicated that the line speed is fast and that workers are made to turn out a high volume of product in a short period of time. Furthermore, workers alleged that when inspectors from the Occupational Safety Health Administration arrive to check the meatpacking plant, gate workers alert the rest of the factory. Not only are there more workers added to the line, but the speed of the line also slows down considerably.

A number of warehouse workers are discouraged from reporting injuries to their superiors, either for fear of getting fired or because they don’t have any sick pay available. While the injured woman was sent to the physician’s office for her shoulder pain, the doctor reportedly told her that she would just have to live with the pain. When the woman finally quite the job five years after the injury occurred, she was left with no workers’ compensation benefits and only a small amount of money to replace lost wages.

Whether an employee receives an injury in an on-the-job accident or acquires a condition from repetitive motions over time, they may want to seek counsel from a workers’ compensation attorney.

Source: NPR, “Working “The Chain,’ Slaughterhouse Workers Face Lifelong Injuries,” Peggy Lowe, Aug. 11, 2016. 

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