Study Confirms Higher Injury Rates in Food Industry

Overall, food industry workers had 60 percent higher rate of occupational illness and injury than workers in non-food industries and a lost-time injury rate more than twice as high.

A study published in the July issue of the Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine confirms that workers involved in the modern food industry are at higher risk of injury and death than those in other industries. JOEM is the official publication of the American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine.

The researchers used a "farm-to-table" model that considered five major industry "pathways and processes": food production, processing, distribution, storage, and retail. The study's findings may help in targeting specific workplace hazards across the industry, reports Kira L. Newman, BA, of Emory University and her colleagues. They analyzed BLS occupational morbidity and mortality data in food-related industries from 2008 to 2010. Overall, food industry workers had 60 percent higher rate of occupational illness and injury than workers in non-food industries and a lost-time injury rate more than twice as high.

Injuries from slips, trips, and falls were highest in the food processing, storage, and retail steps.

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