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New report highlights worker injuries at poultry plants

When Louisiana families sit down to a chicken dinner, they might not realize the dangers encountered by the workers that processed the food for consumption. The National Employment Law Project analyzed data from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration and identified the poultry industry as a major source of severe worker injuries. Between January 2015 and September 2016, poultry processing plants reported 180 severe injuries to OSHA.

The industry ranked 12th among job sites that produced high numbers of serious injuries. The report stated that workers at poultry facilities experienced higher rates of injury than other dangerous workplaces like saw mills and steel manufacturing plants.

A representative from NELP criticized the hazards endured by poultry processing employees whose efforts put food on people's tables. She said they should not have to risk their health simply to earn money. According to the organization, the employers could reduce the toll taken on workers by following safety rules that have been established for decades.

State law obligates most employers to maintain workers' compensation coverage to provide benefits to injured workers, but employers and insurance carriers sometimes place barriers between injured workers and medical benefits and partial wage replacement. Many companies deny claims, for example, so that they will not have to face premium increases. As a result, people who have been injured on the job or who have contracted an occupational illness might want to have a lawyer's assistance from the outset. Experienced counsel could help to ensure that the required claim is complete and filed on a timely basis.

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