You’re more likely to get injured or become ill selling an RV to Cousin Eddie than you are working in a poultry processing plant. And it’s as safe mowing the fairway on the 3rd hole or working the omelet station at the country club champagne brunch as it is to work in a poultry processing plant. And it’s more dangerous to work at a department store (especially during the holidays), a pet store or for your state and local government.

This according to a blog post by NCC Vice President of Communications Tom Super that posted today on

Super blogged about the recent release of the Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) 2012 Workplace Injury and Illness Report which showed the incidence of nonfatal occupational injuries and illnesses in the poultry sector, which includes slaughter and processing, is at an all-time low. The total recordable poultry processing illness and injury rate for 2012 was 4.9 cases per 100 full-time workers (per year), down from 5.8 in 2011. (For the naysayers, these numbers include both HIMP and non-HIMP plants.)

But for some perspective, Super looked at how that 4.9 number stacks up against other industries:

Industry Reportable cases per 100 workers
Police protection 11.8
Fire protection 11.2
Skiing facilities 10.2
Soft drink manufacturing 8.3
Roasted nuts and peanut butter manufacturing 7.8
Pet and pet supply stores 7.6
Automobile manufacturing 7.2
Couriers and messengers 7.1
Bottled water manufacturing 7
Consumer electronics and appliances rental 6.8
Rice milling 6.6
General medical and surgical hospitals 6.5
Waste collection 6.3
Home centers 6.3
Cheese manufacturing 6.3
Coated paper bag and pouch manufacturing 6.1
State and local government 5.6
Residential electric lighting fixture manufacturing 5.5
Wineries 5.5
Frozen cake, pies, and other pastries manufacturing 5.4
All food manufacturing 5.4
Department stores 5.2
Recreational vehicle dealers 5.1
Musical instrument manufacturing 5.1
Landscaping services 5
Grocery stores 5
Plastics and rubber manufacturing 5
Poultry processing 4.9
Golf courses and country clubs 4.8
Footwear manufacturing 4.7

“I’m not here to throw any other industry under the bus (that would only increase their injury and illness rate),” Super wrote. “I would hope all companies take very seriously the health and well-being of their employees – we certainly do in the poultry industry. Can we do better? You bet. And we’re making progress.”

Poultry processing’s 2012 rate of 4.9 represents a 78 percent decrease from 1994 (the oldest data available on the BLS website), when the recorded rate was 22.7, demonstrating the enormous progress poultry processors have made in improving safety for our workforce.

“My point is, and what this data show, is that it’s high time the poultry industry stop being framed as the poster boy for dangerous and unsafe workplaces,” Super concluded.