“Sanitary workers who clean machinery in meat plants have suffered amputated limbs and severed fingers. Some have died on the job. But their cases are not always counted with meat and poultry industry data because many work for third-party contractors.
Medical staff at on-site clinics have encouraged workers to return to the line without seeing a doctor for pain. GAO cited a case where a worker made 90 visits to a nursing station before being referred to a physician.
Meat and poultry workers are often immigrants or refugees. They may downplay or not report injuries to protect their jobs and livelihoods. Language barriers can also prevent workers from receiving proper safety training.”