Traumatic injury rates in meatpacking plant workers

Document Type


Peer Reviewed


Publication Date


NLM Title Abbreviation

J Agromed

Journal/Book/Conference Title

Journal of Agromedicine

PubMed ID



This was a 3-year retrospective cohort study of traumatic injuries in a midwestern pork meatpacking plant. Based on n = 5410 workers, this was a diverse workforce: Caucasian (56.6%), Hispanic (38.9%), African American (2.7%), Asian (1.1%) and Native American (0.8%). There were n = 1655 employees with traumatic injuries during this period. At 6 months of employment, the probability of injury was 33% in the harvest workers who were responsible for slaughter operations. The overall incidence injury rate was 22.76 per 100 full-time employees per year. Women experienced a higher incidence for injury than men. The risk ratio (RR) for traumatic injury was significantly lower in Hispanic workers compared to Caucasians (RR = 0.54, 95% CI = 0.49DS0.60) and nonsignificantly higher in African American and Native American workers after adjusting for age, gender, work section assignment, and experience (RR = 1.33, 95% CI = 1.21DS1.47). These findings suggest that either Hispanics are very safe employees or they underreport injuries. We make the case for the latter in the discussion.


Blue Collar Workers, Meat, Statistics, Trauma, Wounds and Injuries, Adult, Asians, Blacks, Confidence Intervals, Cox Proportional Hazards Model, Employment, Female, Hispanics, Kaplan-Meier Estimator, Male, Middle Age, Midwestern United States, Native Americans, Prospective Studies, Regression, Retrospective Design, Time Factors, Whites, Human

Published Article/Book Citation

Journal of Agromedicine, 13:1 (2008) pp.7-16.

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