Your chicken craving is giving workers carpal tunnel

A study finds slaughtering line employees are in a lot of pain -- just as the USDA proposes picking up the pace.

By Jason Notte Jun 7, 2013 7:16AM
Stack of chicken carcasses (c) Frank Rothe/Photonica/Getty Images)All those chicken wings and drumsticks Americans consume regularly are taking a toll on the limbs of the folks who chop them.


A recent study by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health found that roughly 42% of workers at a poultry plant in South Carolina showed signs of the painful hand-and-arm condition known as carpal tunnel syndrome. NIOSH experts visited the plant twice last year, examining workers who eviscerate, debone and cut chickens to prepare them for sale, and also found that the majority of workers reported "multiple musculoskeletal symptoms," most commonly hand and wrist pain.


That's one plant and 318 workers total, but the NIOSH says it's enough to call into question a proposal from the Department of Agriculture that would allow plants to speed up their slaughtering lines.


According to The Huffington Post, the U.S. Department of Agriculture proposed last year to pull government inspectors off the slaughtering line, where they visually inspect chickens, and move resources instead toward the detection of bacteria and other invisible dangers.


That switch would allow poultry plants to speed up their slaughtering lines and allow the companies to save both time and payroll costs. The USDA says the change affects only a small number of poultry workers because most of them work on the processing lines. But critics say a slaughtering speedup will likely lead to faster processing as well.


Though the NIOSH study was conducted at the request of the USDA, the agency wouldn't be required to alter or scrap the speed-up proposal based on any health findings.


While it isn't clear what, if any, bearing the NIOSH findings will have on the final rule, at the very least they offer a look at the day-to-day conditions of the line workers affected. Of the 318 workers in the study, 213 "reported pain, burning, numbness or tingling in their hands or wrists in the past 12 months." A full two-thirds of those 213 workers reported "awakening from sleep because of these symptoms."


More on moneyNOW

1Comment
Jun 7, 2013 1:18PM
avatar

I'VE GOT SOMETHING LIKE THIS CRAVING.....

Only, it's not Chicken. My name is Tad Parker, I'm a 37 year young, fit and Fabulous Barrister at Starbucks #1538, here in East Stroudsburg, PA. I live in my parents basement, and instead of Wall Paper, I've plastered 5,786 photos of Justin Beiber on my Walls. The Shower Curtain has his image on it, my underwear is the Justin Collection, from JC Penny. My answering machine is his voice, and to top it off, I'm the President of the Justin Beiber Fan Club, East Stroudsburg Chapter. I'll admit.....

"I'VE GOT A CRAVING IN MY LOWER FRONTAL TORSO AREA FOR JB"

Report
Please help us to maintain a healthy and vibrant community by reporting any illegal or inappropriate behavior. If you believe a message violates theCode of Conductplease use this form to notify the moderators. They will investigate your report and take appropriate action. If necessary, they report all illegal activity to the proper authorities.
Categories
100 character limit
Are you sure you want to delete this comment?

DATA PROVIDERS

Copyright © 2014 Microsoft. All rights reserved.

Fundamental company data and historical chart data provided by Morningstar Inc. Real-time index quotes and delayed quotes supplied by Morningstar Inc. Quotes delayed by up to 15 minutes, except where indicated otherwise. Fund summary, fund performance and dividend data provided by Morningstar Inc. Analyst recommendations provided by Zacks Investment Research. StockScouter data provided by Verus Analytics. IPO data provided by Hoover's Inc. Index membership data provided by Morningstar Inc.

Trending NOW

What’s this?

MARKET UPDATE

[BRIEFING.COM]

  • Aug gold fell below $1300 per ounce following economic data that showed the initial claims level fell to 284K from an upwardly revised 330K (from 302K), its lowest level since Feb 2006. The Briefing.com consensus called for an increase to 308K.
  • The yellow metal traded as low as $1287.50 per ounce after pulling back from a session high of $1300.80 per ounce set in morning action and eventually settled with a 1.1% loss at $1290.20 per ounce.
  • Sep silver ... More

MSN MONEY'S