US – An employee injury led federal workplace safety inspectors to discover the nation’s largest meat and poultry processor endangered workers.
Responding to a report of a finger amputation at the Tyson Foods Inc. chicken processing facility in Center, Texas, US Department of Labor Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) inspectors identified two repeated and 15 serious violations.
The company now faces $263,498 in proposed fines.
The investigation determined the employee suffered an amputation when his finger became stuck in an unguarded conveyor belt as he worked in the debone area and tried to remove chicken parts jammed in the belt.
OSHA inspectors also found more than a dozen serious violations including failing to ensure proper safety guards on moving machine parts, allowing carbon dioxide levels above the permissible exposure limit, failing to provide personal protective equipment and not training employees on hazards associated with peracetic acid.
“Tyson Foods must do much more to prevent disfiguring injuries like this one from happening,” said Dr David Michaels, assistant secretary of labour for Occupational Safety and Health. “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.”
Inspectors also found employees exposed to slip-and-fall hazards due to a lack of proper drainage, trip-and-fall hazards caused by recessed drains and fire hazards resulting from of improper stored compressed gas cylinders.