Tyson Foods could be forced to pay more than $263,000 after occupational safety inspectors found over a dozen serious violations at a Texas facility following an amputation report.
Reportedly, one employee of the meat processor lost a finger at a chicken processing plant in Center, TX. Federal inspectors found a couple of repeated safety standard violations and 15 other unrepeated but serious violations at the facility.
For instance, workers in the facility were exposed to toxic amounts of carbon dioxide and paracetic acid with little or no protective equipment.
The Arkansas-based company declined to comment on the issue.
Inspectors from the Dallas office of the Department of Labor also found that a male employee had his finger amputated after it got stuck in a conveyor belt in the debone area after he tried to remove manually chicken tissue stuck in the unprotected belt. The department declined to identify the worker.
Other severe violations at the plant included lack of safety guards on mobile machine parts, unsafe carbon dioxide levels, lack of training on the risks of paracetic acid which include burns and respiratory disease, lack of proper equipment and so on.
David Michaels, an inspector with the Occupational Safety and Health Administration noted that the company has to “do much more” to prevent other workers from suffering similar disfiguring injuries.
Michaels added that Tyson Foods, which is now one of the largest meat processors on the planet, should set an example for other companies when it comes to worker safety, not to just keep drawing citations from the department for its repeated labor safety violations.
Inspectors also found that workers at the Center facility faced a risk of slipping and falling because of improper drainage and fire risk because compressed gas cylinders were not properly stored. Workers also lacked eye and face protection equipment.
Similar safety failures were observed at the company’s Carthage plant in 2012 and Albertville facility in 2013.
According to the inspectors, Tyson now has 15 business days to fix the issue, call for a private meeting with the OSHA’s local director or challenge the citations at an OSHA review commission.
Tyson was recently awarded by Center for creating jobs in the area and was reimbursed the state sales tax paid during a $5 million investment at the facility.
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