Assessing Meatpacking Worker's Perceptions of Supervisors' Concern for Safety and Supervisors' Support

Sara Reyes, University of Nebraska Medical Center

2023 Copyright, the authors


Occupational safety is a major public health issue, given that failure to meet safety regulations can lead to incidents and death. Meat processing facilities have some of the highest rates of non-fatal and fatal injuries compared to other industries. A reported 5.9 incidents per 100 full-time occupied within meat processing industries. The majority of workers within meat processing plants are people of color and immigrants, leading to a disproportion in reports of incidents and safety concerns. Immigrant workers frequently occupy positions within the kill floor and fabrication departments. Supervisors are often at the forefront of safety, yet workers often report negative interactions with supervisors, often leading to feeling that their safety is not a priority. This project aimed to answer the following questions and examine factors that impact workers' perceptions of their supervisors: 1) Do meat processing workers perceive they are receiving needed support at work? 2) Do meat processing workers perceive that their supervisor cares about their safety? 3) To what extent do demographic factors (e.g., country of origin., language proficiency, education) and work factors (e.g., work department) affect how workers perceive their supervisors? 4) How does the relationship between perceptions of supervisors, demographic, and work factors impact job satisfaction?