The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) recently cited Tyson Foods for four workplace violations in its Hutchison, Kan., facility following a June 17 accident. The meat giant faces $147,000 in proposed fines.
The federal report notes that a worker's hand was severed by an unguarded conveyor belt as four workers were cleaning conveyor equipment at the end of their shift. In the cleaning process the guarding on the conveyor was removed. The injured worker’s garment and arm were pulled into the gears of the conveyer which had not been properly locked out to prevent unintentional operation, OSHA noted.
The company received two willful violations for failing to train workers on lockout/tagout procedures. One serious violation was issued for failing to provide fixed stairs to reach work areas on the plant's upper platform. OSHA issued a citation for one other-than-serious violation involved illegible markings on forklift levers.
This particular plant was inspected five times the past decade by OSHA and received 7 violations.
OSHA said the severity of the violations warranted placing Tyson Foods in its “Severe Violator Enforcement Program,” which mandates targeted follow-up inspections to ensure compliance with the law.
Tyson said it is reviewing the citation and will work cooperatively with OSHA to resolve these concerns.
"Workplace safety is very important to everyone at our company," Tyson spokesman Worth Sparkman noted in an email. "We expect our employees to perform to the highest safety and health standards across Tyson Foods operations at all times. Our efforts include safety policies and training, and the involvement of workers in our safety committees.”