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Chicken plants draw attention as hazardous workplaces

There are chicken plants in Orlando and the surrounding area, and if you work in one, you deserve to know that it can be a dangerous place to be. Did you know that chicken plants are actually more dangerous than coal mines? It's surprising, but it's true.

Working in a chicken plant takes strength and stamina. Workers who participate in animal slaughter and production face high rates of injury, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. In fact, their rate of injury is higher than the construction industry or coal mining industry.

Interestingly, the leading occupational cause of finger amputations is working in poultry processing. When workers are expected to handle up to 140 birds in a minute, that's not surprising. Having just a few seconds to work with the birds in front of you can quickly lead to repetitive stress injuries and dangerous lacerations.

As someone who works in these conditions, it's important for you to speak up if you feel fatigued or suffer an injury. You are exposed to hazards every day, and if you're injured, you deserve to have time to take care of yourself.

Workers' compensation does often cover injuries like cuts that require time off work or repetitive-stress injuries that require physical therapy or other supports. Remember, too, that workers who have disabilities or injuries should be accommodated. Reasonable accommodations, like more ergonomic seating or a change in the workers' jobs temporarily, could be necessary to help them heal and continue to maintain a job while recovering.

Working in this industry is tough. If you get hurt, it's important to know your rights and to seek the care you need.

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