Tyson Foods faces $263K in fines after report of amputation also exposes chemical, fall and fire hazards at Texas plant
An employee of Tyson Foods Inc. in Center, Texas, suffered an amputation when his finger became stuck in an unguarded conveyor belt.
The worker was attempting to remove chicken parts jammed in the belt. OSHA inspectors cited the chicken processing facility with 17 serious and 2 repeated workplace safety violations including: exposing workers to high levels of carbon dioxide and paracetic acid without providing protective equipment; failing to ensure safety guards were installed on moving machine parts; and failing to train workers on hazards associated with peracetic acid.
OSHA cited the company for repeated violations for not making sure employees used appropriate eye or face protection when exposed to eye or face hazards. The agency cited Tyson for a similar violation in a 2012 investigation at its Carthage facility. The company also failed to separate compressed gas cylinders of oxygen and acetylene while in storage - a violation for which OSHA cited the company in 2013 at its Albertville, Alabama facility.
Caution to our readers: Do NOT look at this as a chicken processing plant and think there’s nothing in this for your facility; look at the type of violations. Survey your facility and make sure that you cannot be cited for the same type of violations!
- Serious – Where wet processes were used, drainage was not maintained, and false floors, platforms, mats, or other dry standing places were not provided when practicable. 1910.22(a)(2)
- Serious – Every floor hole into which persons can accidentally walk were not guarded 1910.23(a)(8)
- Serious – Exits routes were not kept free and unobstructed 1910.37(a)(3)
- Serious – Protective equipment was not used when necessary whenever hazards capable of causing injury and impairment were encountered. 1910.132(a)
- Serious – Physical hazards such as: striking against, stumbling, falling, tripping, and “caught in between” was not marked in yellow to designate caution. 1910.144(a)(3)
- Serious – Storage of material created a hazard 1910.176(b)
- Serious – One or more methods of machine guarding was not provided to protect the operator and other employees in the machine area from hazards such as those created by point of operation, ingoing nip points, rotating parts, flying chips and sparks. 1910.212(a)(1)
- Serious – Point of operation of machinery were not guarded to prevent employees from having any part of their body in the danger zone during operating cycles 1910.212(a)(3)(ii)
- Serious – Compressed air used for cleaning purposes was not reduced to less than 30 p.s.i. 1910.242(b)
- Serious – Valve protection caps, where cylinders were designed to accept caps, were not always in place, hand-tight, except when cylinders were in use or connected for use (Gas cylinders on a cart did not have their caps on) 1910.253(b)(2)(iv)
- Serious – Employer did not provide a medical evaluation to determine the employee’s ability to use a respirator, before the employee was fit tested or required to use the respirator in the workplace. 1910.134( e )(1)
- Serious – Where the eyes or body of any person was exposed to injurious corrosive materials, suitable facilities for quick drenching or flushing of the eyes and body was not provided within the work area for immediate emergency use 1910.151( c )
- Serious – Employees were exposed to an airborne concentration of carbon dioxide listed in table Z-1 in excess of the 8 hour Time Weighted Average concentration of 5,000 parts per million (ppm) 1910.1000(a)(2)
- Serious - The employer did not have a safety data sheet in the workplace for each hazardous chemical which they use. 1910.1200(g)(1)
- Serious - Employees were not provided effective information and training on hazardous chemicals in their work area at the time of their initial assignment and whenever a new hazard that the employees had not been previously trained about was introduced into their work area.1910.1200(h)(1)
- Serious – Feasible administrative or engineering controls were not determined and implemented to achieve compliance with the limits prescribed in 1910.1000(a) through (d). 1910.1000( e )
- Serious – The employer did not provide information to the employees on operations in their work area where hazardous chemicals were present. 1910.1200(h)(2)
- Repeat - Oxygen cylinders in storage were not separated from fuel-gas cylinders or combustible materials (especially oil or grease), a minimum distance of 20 feet or by a noncombustible barrier at least 5 feet high having a fire-resistance rating of at least one-half hour 1910.253(b)(4)(iii)
- Repeat – The employer did not ensure that each affected employee uses appropriate eye or face protection when exposed to eye or face hazards from flying particles, molten metal, liquid chemicals, acids or caustic liquids, chemical gases or vapors, or potentially injurious light radiation 1910.133(a)(1)
How much does your company have to sell to make $263K in profit to pay a fine like this?
As an Authorized OSHA 10 & 30 Trainer with over 30 years of safety experience, our Safety Director Bob Revels can help your company with any of your safety inspection and safety training needs (i.e., Forklift Training, Global Harmonized System, Hazard Communications training, Fall Protection Training, Lockout/Tagout Training, Recordkeeping, Drug Testing, etc.)
Give Bob a call today at 828-335-0088!
In the United States, how many amputations are reported at work per day? (Answer below)
A. 3 B. 5 C. 7 D. 12
The answer is (C) - 7. For the last couple of years, an average of 7 amputations per day has been reported in the workforce in the United States.