Risk Assessment for Cattle Stunning Workers: A Case Study

Carlos Ospina, Serap Gorucu, Daniel Hofstetter

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

Abstract

Workers in the animal slaughtering and processing industry experience a higher risk of work-related injuries than in other job sectors. The rate of nonfatal occupational injuries in the animal slaughtering and processing industry remains nearly three times higher than the national average. To understand the specific risks and hazards associated with stunning activities in a slaughterhouse, we conducted a case study at the University of Florida Meat Processing Laboratory. The aims of this study were to quantify the risks during stunning activities and the effectiveness of new interventions at reducing injury risks. We used a mixed-method research evaluation approach. Occupational risk threats during stunning activities were determined through observational video surveillance and interviews with the employees about their perceptions of hazards and safety. The existing stunning box, used since the 1980s, was modified by adding engineering controls to enhance worker safety and improve animal restraint during stunning. Video surveillance data obtained before and after the installation of engineering controls demonstrated significant reductions in worker exposure to risks when stunning cattle. This paper discusses our research results and suggestions for improving safety conditions in meat processing facilities.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publication2023 ASABE Annual International Meeting
PublisherAmerican Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers
ISBN (Electronic)9781713885887
DOIs
StatePublished - 2023
Event2023 American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers Annual International Meeting, ASABE 2023 - Omaha, United States
Duration: Jul 9 2023Jul 12 2023

Publication series

Name2023 ASABE Annual International Meeting

Conference

Conference2023 American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers Annual International Meeting, ASABE 2023
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CityOmaha
Period7/9/237/12/23

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Agronomy and Crop Science
  • Bioengineering

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