Twenty-one Latino immigrant chicken catchers for North Carolina poultry-processing plants were interviewed to obtain their perceptions of the job and its hazards. Interviews were recorded and transcribed (n = 10) or detailed notes recorded (n = 11). Transcripts and notes were subjected to qualitative analysis.
Chicken catching takes place in a highly contaminated and hazardous work environment. The fast pace of work, low level of control over work intensity, and piece rate compensation all result in high potential for work-related injury and illness, including trauma, electrical shock, respiratory effects, musculoskeletal injuries, and drug use. Workers receive little safety or job training.
Chicken catching is characterized by a work environment and organization of work that promote injury and illness.
This study uses qualitative data to describe the tasks performed by chicken catchers, their organization of work, and possible health and safety hazards encountered.