Is Texas’ Tyson Foods Plant Putting Workers at Risk for Amputation Injuries?

iStock_000022194672_LargeEarlier this year, the U.S. Labor Department’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) inspected Tyson Foods in Dallas after a worker sustained an amputation injury while attempting to remove chicken parts from a jammed conveyor belt. After the follow-up inspection last month, OSHA issued $263,498 in fines for two repeat violations and 15 serious safety violations, including:

  • Slip and fall hazards
  • Failure to install safety guards on moving machine parts
  • Allowing carbon monoxide levels above permissible exposure levels
  • Failure to provide personal protective equipment (PPE)
  • Failure to train workers on the hazards associated with working with peracetic acid
  • Fire hazards
  • Failure to provide eye and face protection

Tyson Foods is the largest meat and poultry processing company in the world with more than $40 billion in annual sales. That said, the company sets an example to the rest of the world on what workplace safety standards should be. Though the company is a multibillion dollar corporation, it does not mean the company can skimp on workplace safety procedures.

Employers Must Comply with OSHA’s Workplace Safety Standards to Avoid On-the-Job Injuries

There are many health and safety hazards associated with the poultry processing industry, including

  • High noise levels
  • Amputations or crush injuries from equipment
  • Musculoskeletal disorders
  • Hazardous chemicals
  • Slippery floors
  • Biological hazards that come with the handling of live birds and exposure to feces

Unfortunately, poultry workers are twice as likely to sustain serious injuries and six times as likely to become sick on the job than in any other industry. However, when safety procedures are complied with, these risks for injuries and illnesses are minimized. Last year, OSHA launched a Regional Emphasis Program intended to encourage employers to protect poultry industry workers. Hopefully, this regional effort continues to reduce the number of injuries within the poultry industry.

The Law Offices of Aaron Allison is a Texas workers’ compensation law firm that helps injured workers within the Austin area.



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