Custom Safety Standards in the Meatpacking Industry essay paper sample
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The meat packing industry contributes to the economy of the United States to a great extent because it has offered numerous job opportunities. However, it is classified among the industries that pose a big risk to its employees, in fact majority refer to it as the most hazardous industry anyone can work in the United States. The residents of United States using utilitarianism approach should take it upon themselves to address the rights of the immigrant workers, because the residents are the consumers of the meat especially in fast food restaurants, since they derive a lot pleasure from the meat. If they can boycott the meat consumption, the industry would suffer greatly and hence address the hazardous issues. This industry has attracted the attention of the immigrants who are in search for a better life.
Meat packing industry has been in the news lately for neglecting the safety standards and rules that are set by the government. This neglect has led to infringement of human rights for the workers who work in this industry. The employers in these industries are said to use unlawful strategies to put off workers from staging strikes and this is morally wrong because there are labor rules laid down that they should abide by. The employers have ignored the rules to enrich themselves.
Research conducted by experts in labor law revealed that the condition in which the workers work in, expose them to so much risk hence making the working conditions very poor while there are rules on the same that continue to be ignored. The researches also revealed that majority of the workers who are in the industry of meat packing are immigrants. These immigrant workers are said to do jobs that require them to use a lot of energy, the work they do is also dangerous not forgetting that they work in the surrounding that is messy with blood and this deteriorates their health in a big way.
The immigrant workers face a lot of abuse from the employers and also from fellow workers. This makes them to perform their duties with a lot of fear. The fear that they experience is for losing their jobs if they decide to go on strike and for health reasons because they can easily get hurt. The employers are said to unlawfully get in the way of the workers trails to press for working conditions that are improved. For the workers who try to get in to the trade unions; they face harassment and are threatened to be sacked from work. The workers can even be suspended in order to instill fear. It however gets bad to an extent that they are dismissed from their duties and sometimes deported. Workers have the right to join the trade unions and hence they should not be victimized for trying to join or form one and hence violation of the same should be gravely punished by law (Ridley & Channing 124).
The employers are able to victimize them because the immigrants do not have legal papers and that is why they are easily demoralized by being told that they can be reported to the authorities dealing with immigration matters. For the immigrant workers who get hurt by either getting injuries that pose as a risk to their livelihood while thy are working they do not get to be compensated. Since the companies benefit from the services of the injured employees, rules should apply to ensure they are compensated. The extent to which the violation of rights for the immigrant workers has spread because the government has failed in implementing laws and policies that can help protect them.
There is a greater need to protect these immigrant workers by ensuring that the recommendations put in place by the Human Rights Watch are effected accordingly. The immigrant workers continue to die due to the major injuries that they get and hence irrespective of their status legally, they should be protected. Some of the hazards that come about in the meat packing industry come about as a result of trainings that are conducted which are not adequate. The workers also work for so many hours without being given a break. The increase in the speeds of line also contributes to the exploitation of the workers.
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has used deontological ethics to address the standards that are not being followed and all the issues affecting the same and has also given suggestions that can help minimize the hazards. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration suggested the use of floors that are non skid to protect the workers from heat that is excessive or cold (Manuele 85).
It also suggested that the electrical connection in this industry be wired correctly. Also, the machines that the workers use to pack and process the meat should be guarded because that is where most injuries occur. The management team that has been put in place in this industry should be credible and offer the employees the safety standards that are required by the labor standards. They should also analyze the conditions that the workers work in, so that they can be in a good position to know the risks that the employees could be exposed to. They have the power to address the risks irrespective of whether the government is aware of the risk or not.
Training of the employees should be extensively done and facilitated accordingly by the industry to ensure that the accidents reduce. The violation of human rights for the workers continues and goes unmentioned because the reports are no longer filed for statistics since the public would criticize the issues morally.
The campaign to create awareness among the immigration workers is a good step because majority of them do not know their rights. By educating them, this will ensure that the employers do not harass them. This will also improve their salaries and the conditions of working, this will give them a voice and hence they can be allowed to join the labor unions that can help them to get documents that will assist them to work legally in the United States.
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration have standards which require the company to have a communication plan about the chemicals that are used in the industry by the employees. This measure ensures that every chemical in the industry has a label in it for easy identification of the chemicals. These labels should also have instructions of use and warnings that need to be addressed in order to avoid accidents. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration require the companies to have a medical file of every employee putting into consideration that this industry poses great risks to health. Keeping such records helps in compiling the statistics of the hazards involved and to measure the effectiveness of the new policies put in place to curb the risks (Moran 87).
Keeping of the records also helps the Occupational Safety and Health Administration when doing the inspection in the meat packing industry. Ethically, the employer is responsible for the safety of the employees. He should ensure that any measures of correction or recommendations given after an inspection are affected. The employer should also make sure that there is effective communication in the industry to ensure an effective flow of information. Emphasy should be put on the supervisors and how they communicate to the employees. This way even if the injuries happen, the fines charged should not be heavy if working conditions were in place.
Inspection in an industry such as the one for meat packing should be done on regular basis. As much as the employer is supposed to ensure that the employees work in safe conditions, the employees have a responsibility to keep off from injuries and hence if they do not abide by the rules they are to blame for harm done to them. They have to be careful when handling machines in order to avoid accidents and that is why in the event that something happens that expose them to danger, they should report to the supervisor. Companies found to neglect workers and expose them to hazards should be heavily fined or their license to conduct business be confiscated so that the others can learn (Gunningham & Johnstone 61).
Human rights organization should come out and expose the companies that are oppressing their employees. The government has the final say in this matter regarding the protection of workers in the meat packing industry especially the immigrant workers because it is better placed to protect the employees from the harm done to them by employers. The industry should be fined accordingly based on the extent of the damage done to the employees due to neglect. The meat packing industry is said to attract the young generation of the workers and hence pose a great risk to the future of the country. Research carried out has shown that, majority of the employees involved in these injuries were at the age of 26 years or below. Reports of this research also show that within one month of working in the industry, majority of workers usually have injuries already.
Working together with the Human Rights Watch, the government will be able to come up with strong policies that will be to prosecute the employers for injustices committed to the employees. The meat packing industry is said to save a lot of money by not attending to the employees’ complaints and this is not right morally in the society. The employers should strictly adhere to moral ethics regarding business in order to respect the employees.