Federal officials have proposed almost $264,000 in fines against a Tyson Foods chicken processing facility in Texas after an employee’s finger was amputated on the job. The Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA) says Tyson, the U.S.’s largest meat and poultry processing company, also exposed workers to high levels of carbon dioxide and peracetic acid without providing personal protective equipment.
OSHA said the worker suffered an amputation when his finger became stuck in an unguarded conveyor belt as he worked in the plant’s deboning area and tried to clear chicken parts that were jammed in the belt. Inspectors at Tyson’s Center, Texas, plant identified two repeated violations and 15 serious violations. According to OSHA, one repeat offense was not separating compressed gas cylinders of oxygen and acetylene while in storage. Inspectors had already cited Tyson in 2013 for similar problems at its Albertville plant.
Violations included failing to ensure proper safety guards on moving machine parts, allowing carbon dioxide levels above safety limits and not training employees on the dangers of peracetic acid. The disinfectant can cause burns and respiratory illness if used improperly. In addition, inspectors found slip and fall hazards due to lack of proper drainage, and fire hazards. Dr. David Michaels, Assistant Secretary of Labor of OSHA, said the company must do more to prevent injuries. He added: “As one of the nation’s largest food suppliers, it should set an example for workplace safety rather than drawing multiple citations from OSHA for ongoing safety failures.”
Source: William Thornton at AL.com
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