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Texas worker's arm lost in industrial accident

The meat-packing and -processing industry has long been known as a tough job with many risks and too few rewards.

The risks were again evident in the news that a Texas meat processing worker southwest of Houston yesterday lost an arm in an industrial accident.

According to a media report, the Corpus Christi man's right arm was taken off below the elbow after the limb "came in contact with a saw."

Paramedics put the severed limb on ice and took it with to a nearby hospital. However, the report did not state if surgeons were able to reattach the arm.

According to the United Food and Commercial Workers International Union, the workplace accident rate in the meat processing industry is slowly improving. The improvement is tempered by the fact that meat processing workers are still injured at a rate twice that of employees in other sectors of manufacturing and industrial work.

However, some people question whether there has been even a slight improvement in worker safety in the meat industry. After all, many of the meat workers in Texas and across the nation are undocumented immigrants, which means many might not report injuries for fear of deportation.

For those injured workers willing to report their injuries, workers' compensation can help replace a portion of their wages and also pay for medical expenses. But in some cases, employers will oppose a claim, forcing an employee to fight for compensation.

In those circumstances, the fight is best waged with an attorney who not only knows the law but also has a record of helping clients successfully navigate the workers' comp system.

Source: KRISTV.com, "Worker's Arm Cut Off in Meat Cutting Accident," Dec. 30, 2013

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