Tyson Foods Inc. has been cited by U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) for four workplace safety violations at the Hutchinson, Kan., prepared foods manufacturing plant. A worker’s hand had been severed by an unguarded conveyor belt. Proposed fines total $147,000. OSHA began its inspection upon learning of the amputation, which occurred June 17 when four workers were cleaning conveyor equipment at the end of their shift. Guarding on the conveyor was removed, exposing workers to rotating parts. A worker’s frock and the employee’s arm were then pulled into moving gears of a conveyor that had not been locked out to prevent unintentional operation. The two willful violations involved failing to train workers on lockout/tagout procedures and to lock out equipment to prevent the unintentional operation of equipment and exposure to amputation hazards.
One serious violation involved fall hazards when workers ascend the upper platform work area in two separate plant locations. The company failed to provide fixed stairs to reach the work areas. An other-than-serious violation involves lack of legible markings on forklift levers. The Hutchinson plant has been inspected by OSHA five times in the past 10 years, resulting in seven violations.
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