OSHA cites Tyson for safety violations

by Meat&Poultry Staff
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OMAHA – A Tyson Foods Inc. processing facility in Dakota City, Neb. was cited for willful and serious violations following the death of mechanic at the plant in March, according to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). The company faces penalties of $104,200.

The mechanic was crushed by a piece of piece of equipment that had been elevated and secured by a chain and quick link. The chain failed, according to OSHA. Tyson was cited for ineffective periodic safety equipment inspections and for failing to make necessary modifications to worker safety processes through the inspections, the agency said.

The company received five serious violations because it failed to:

• Provide protective equipment for working with chemicals;

• Use tags when lockout devices were not available;

• Use suitable energy isolation devices for the work environment;

• Train authorized workers on using lockout/tagout devices to control the energy sources of equipment; and

• Provide comprehensive training on hazard communication.

One other-than-serious violation involved failing to have a competent person certify the hazard assessment, OSHA said.

“We’re reviewing the citations and will work cooperatively with OSHA to resolve the agency's concerns, said Worth Sparkman, a Tyson spokesman. “The safety of our people is very important to us and we want to make sure accidents like this are prevented in the future.”

Springdale, Ark. –based Tyson employs approximately 3,500 workers at the Dakota City facility.

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