JAN provides this information as a way to share accommodation situations and solutions from meat packing industry related jobs. For a more in depth discussion, contact JAN directly.
Situations and Solutions:
A meat packing inspector with post-polio syndrome was limited in balancing and had difficulty maintaining his balance on slick floors.
The company implemented a policy change that involved having the floors cleaned during specific times of the day, prior to his inspections.
A maintenance worker with a burn injury had difficulty walking and standing for long periods.
The employer purchased a small utility vehicle for the individual to move about the production facility.
A meat processor with a back impairment had difficulty lifting materials from a storage area to his work area.
The inspector was accommodated with a cart and lifts.
A meat processor who was deaf was promoted to a position working in a busy warehouse.
The individual needed to communicate with several lead processors throughout the workday. The facility provided handheld text messaging devices for all lead processors.
A freezer operator with low vision had difficulty reading visual notifications, both electronic and in print.
The employee was accommodated with handheld portable magnifiers.
A meat trimmer with arthritis had difficulty standing for long periods.
JAN provided information on anti-fatigue matting and stand/lean stools.
A meat packer with cancer had fatigue due to treatment for cancer.
The individual was offered a flexible schedule that changed his tasks to filling specialty order requests. These requests were made several weeks ahead of time and allowed for additional flexibility in hours.
A meat trimmer with asthma had a respiratory impairment that was exacerbated by material used to maintain heavy equipment in the production warehouse.
The individual was reassigned to another position that was in a work area away from large, industrial equipment.
According to the U.S. Department of Labor, food processing occupations include many different types of workers who process raw food products into the finished goods sold by grocers, wholesalers, restaurants, or institutional food services. These workers perform a variety of tasks and are responsible for producing many of the food products found in every household. The majority of these individuals work in the meatpacking industry. For new workers with disabilities, and as our working population ages, it is imperative to consider providing job accommodations to enhance the productivity of these valuable workers.