Biosafety of working in cold storage units: from the profit margin to the safety margin

Gabriela Chaves Marra Luciana Hugue de Souza Telma Abdalla de Oliveira Cardoso About the authors

The cold storage unit and meat production industry has made Brazil one of the leading suppliers and exporters of products of animal origin. The rapid expansion of the market has led to a rise in competitiveness from a capitalist standpoint, and in this respect corporate profit often leads to the need to adapt human actions to new functions in order to reduce costs and maximize production. These routine activities involve repetitive work, multi-tasking, long hours and operating machines with the use of sharp cutting tools, which is why the work is conducted wearing protective gear. Among the main hazards present, biological risks are the most important due to direct exposure to internal organs, blood, fecal matter, urine and placental or fetal fluids from slaughtered animals that may be infected with pathogens of zoonotic origin. This paper discusses the risks to which slaughterhouse-cold storage unit professionals are exposed, conducting a thorough bibliographical review of the literature that takes into consideration the conceptual framework of Biosafety, which contributes to improve the safety and health conditions of these workers.

Slaughterhouses; Exposure to biological agents; Occupational hazards


ABRASCO - Associação Brasileira de Saúde Coletiva Av. Brasil, 4036 - sala 700 Manguinhos, 21040-361 Rio de Janeiro RJ - Brazil, Tel.: +55 21 3882-9153 / 3882-9151 - Rio de Janeiro - RJ - Brazil
E-mail: cienciasaudecoletiva@fiocruz.br