Workers in the food industry face higher rates of injury and death than workers in other industries, a new study has confirmed.
According to Safety+Health magazine, the Emory University study found that food service workers are 60% more likely to become injured or ill while on the job.
To determine this, researchers looked at data from 2008 to 2010 and analyzed all levels of food production and sale. Workers in the areas of food production, processing, distribution, storage and retail were all studied. During this time period, food industry jobs made up approximately 15% of private sector jobs in the U.S.
Severe injuries that result in lost work time were found to be more than twice as frequent among workers in the food industry. Additionally, the risk of occupational death is 9.5 times higher in this industry than in non-food jobs.
Injuries caused by slips, trips and falls — which coincidentally account for 95 million lost days of work and cause 15% of all accidental deaths per year — were most common in the food processing, storage and retail sectors of the industry. Sadly, these injuries are also some of the most preventable, with the help of commercial floor scrubbers and tile floor cleaning machines.
The food industry is far from being the only sector of the U.S. economy to be plagued with high rates of occupational injury and death. In the warehouse industry, for example, there are nearly 15,000 injuries and illnesses per year, a stunning 70% of which stem from accidents by well-trained personnel.
Given these shocking findings, it only makes sense to support widespread reforms for occupational safety in the food industry. The health and safety of millions of workers across the country depends on it.
What are your thoughts on this study’s findings? Have any other questions about how commercial floor scrubbers can help prevent slips, trips and falls in the workplace? Let us know by leaving a comment below.