Government, Industry Play the Numbers Game on Worker Safety in Meatpacking Plants

Source: Roger Horowitz, Labor Notes, #351, June 2008

… But today the figures make beef and pork processing look far safer than it is. In the 1990s companies began keeping injured workers on the job, which reduced their reported injury rates and their worker’s compensation claims.

They were aided in 2002 by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), which changed its recording methods so that the most common injuries in meatpacking are now exiled from official statistics. The result is that today’s government data seriously under-report injury levels in the meatpacking industry….

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