Two Fatalities in Last Month for Tyson Factories

Eufaula, AL- Within the last month, there have been two fatalities in Tyson factories within the United States. A worker died on March 2nd at a Keystone Foods chicken processing plant in Eufaula, AL while cleaning a piece of equipment.

Barbour County Coroner Chip Chapman said in the report that 39-year-old contractor Carlos Lynn became “caught in a pinch-point of the equipment,” and that the cause of death was a decapitation. The official told the broadcaster that the equipment involved in the incident was a chiller.

Tyson Foods, the owner of the plant, told WRBL that operations halted at the facility the day following the industrial accident.

“We’re investigating an accident at our Eufaula, AL facility yesterday that involved a worker employed by an outside contractor and will provide more information when we can,” Tyson Foods said in a statement printed by the station. “We’re grateful for the swift response and assistance of local emergency personnel.”

Another worker died in a Tyson plant March 23rd in Garden City, Kansas.

Deputies responded to the plant for a man not breathing. EMS transported the man, identified as 30-year-old Kendrick Gregory of Garden City, to the hospital where he died.

The Finney County Sheriff’s Office said their initial investigation showed that Gregory was doing maintenance on the harvest assembly line when he was pulled up by harness against a takeaway belt. Another co-worker was able to cut him free.

These two fatalities in Tyson factories could have potentially been prevented with proper and secure Lockout Tagout procedures. Lockout Tagout isolates and locks each energy source for a given piece of equipment, helping to prevent the startup of machinery or equipment that may result in injuring a worker.

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Man Lost Half his Leg in Workplace Accident

Sydney, Australia- A 35-year-old man has lost half his leg in a workplace accident at a factory in New South Wales’ Macarthur region, near Sydney.

Ambulance crews were called to the Inghams Poultry Processing Plant on Ralfe St, Tahmoor, about 8am on Wednesday.

Paramedics worked frantically to free the man, trapped in a machine at the turkey processing facility, and whose leg had to be amputated from the knee.

He was treated at the scene before being flown to Liverpool Hospital in a serious condition.

The accident occurred at a factory in Tahmoor, south of Sydney. Image: Google Maps

The ambulance spokesperson said a 35-year-old man was stuck in a piece of machinery, and has sustained a serious leg injury.  A specialist medical team arrived by helicopter, where the man was extricated from the scene and flown to hospital for further treatment, in a serious condition.

“Ingham’s has been working with emergency services to do everything it can to support and aid an employee who has been injured in a serious workplace incident. The employee is on his way to hospital and is reported to be in a stable condition,” an Ingham’s spokesperson states.

“The employee’s family is on their way to the hospital and being given all possible assistance and support. Fellow employees are being provided with counselling.”

“Ingham’s will work with the appropriate safety authorities to investigate the incident and will continue to focus on ensuring the safety of its employees.”

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Lockout Compliance Could Have Prevented Amputation at DE Poultry Facility

Selbyville, DE – Compliance with federal standards for lockout/tagout procedures and training could have prevented an amputation at a Delaware poultry facility. OSHA has found serious lockout/tagout violations at Mountaire poultry processing. OSHA inspected the facility in June after receiving a report that a worker’s finger was amputated while operating a papoultry lockout tagout compliance amputationckaging machine. Fines for the safety violations total nearly $40,000.

Federal inspectors found that the amputation was the result of serious violations associated with electrical and process safety management hazards, as well as deficiencies with the procedures meant to prevent accidental machine start-up or movement (known as lockout/tagout).

OSHA requires that employees be trained on lockout policies and procedures. Proper training ensures that the purpose and function of the energy control program are understood by employees and that the knowledge and skills required for the safe application, usage, and removal of the energy controls are acquired by employees.

Compliance with the federal lockout/tagout standard prevents an estimated 120 fatalities and 50,000 injuries each year. Workers injured on the job from exposure to hazardous energy lose an average of 24 workdays for recuperation. In a study conducted by the United Auto Workers (UAW), 20% of the fatalities (83 of 414) that occurred among their members between 1973 and 1995 were attributed to inadequate hazardous energy control procedures specifically, lockout/tagout procedures.

The terms Lockout/Tagout (LOTO) and Hazardous Energy Control/Control of Hazardous Energy refer to the same standard of preventing unexpected start up or movement of equipment. They are used interchangeably, although “Lockout” is more universally used in the United States as it is the term OSHA uses, while ANSI uses “Control of Hazardous Energy ” in their standard, which is used more often by non-US entities.

Violation of lockout-tagout (hazardous energy controls) are on OSHA’s Top 10 “Most Often Cited Violations” and Top 10 “Most Serious Violations” lists. While many companies have general written policies, they may be lacking the equipment specific procedures which provide workers with the specific steps to properly isolate energy sources. Lockout/Tagout fines are based on each piece of equipment, and therefore can add up to tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars.

The most common problem found in lockout/tagout compliance is the lack of written equipment specific procedures. Having a overall plan (company lockout/tagout policy) is only one part of compliance and does not bring a facility or plant into full compliance. Contact a Martin Technical Lockout Expert to get a lockout program evaluation or a quote on the services you need.

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Worker Injuries at Poultry Plant Lead to $88K in OSHA Fines

Morton, MS – Koch Foods of Mississippi LLC has been issued nine serious safety violations at its Morton (MS) chicken processing plant. OSHA has proposed fines totaling $88,632.

Investigation of the Koch facility was triggered by two worker injuries in the spring of 2016. In March, a worker’s right finger was lacerated after his glove got caught in a conveyor. In April, a gizzard chiller operator broke two fingers on her right hand while attempting to clear a jam inside the gizzard chiller. The worker’s hand made contact with a rotating shaft while the machine was energized and operating.

Safety violations included unguarded moving parts, missing drain covers, missing stairway rails and chemicals leaking into an electrical outlet. The Morton (MS) Koch plant received similar OSHA violations in 2010 and 2012.poultry worker injuries

Serious citations were issued for Koch Food’s failure to ensure proper procedures were followed to prevent machinery from starting-up during maintenance or servicing and provide machine guarding on equipment. These procedures are known in the industry as Lockout/Tagout.

Approximately 3 million workers are employed in the US to service equipment. These employees face the greatest risk of injury if lockout/tagout procedures are not properly implemented. Compliance with the lockout/tagout standard (29 CFR 1910.147) prevents an estimated 120 fatalities and 50,000 injuries each year. Workers injured on the job from exposure to hazardous energy lose an average of 24 workdays for recuperation. In a study conducted by the United Auto Workers (UAW), 20% of the fatalities (83 of 414) that occurred among their members between 1973 and 1995 were attributed to inadequate hazardous energy control procedures specifically, lockout/tagout procedures.

Having equipment specific lockout procedures written for each piece of equipment is required by OSHA, and can be the most daunting part of implementing a lockout/tagout program in a plant or facility. The lockout procedures provide detailed instruction on how to isolate and lock each energy source for a given piece of equipment. Having a lockout program protects workers by preventing the unexpected energization or startup of machinery and equipment, as well as preventing the release of hazardous energy during service or maintenance activities. Martin Technical’s Rapid LOTO lockout procedure development program is designed to provide high quality procedures that are easy to follow.

Martin Technical’s Rapid LOTO Lockout Program is the most advanced and comprehensive program in the industry. We leverage our experience in maintenance and safety with today’s technologies to provide a robust system designed for ease of implementation and maximum worker comprehension.

Koch Foods of Mississippi is a subsidiary of Koch Foods Inc., which is a leading poultry processor with facilities in AL, GA, OH, and TN and headquartered in Park Ridge, IL.

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Amputation at Pilgrim Plant Nets $77K in Fines

Russellville, AL – A Pilgrim’s Pride Corp. worker lost the first joint of his middle finger while trying to reassemble a chicken-part separating machine at the Russellville (AL) plant. The finger was amputated when the machine unexpectedly started up. OSHA has levied $77,000 in penalties for this September 2015 lockout/tagout accident. Lockout/tagout procedures, policies, and practices prevent this type of unexpected energization of machinery.

OSHA cited Pilgrim’s Pride for failing to document and train workers on specific procedures to keep machinery from starting up during maintenance and repairing procedures, known as lockout/tagout procedures.lockout training, lockout tagout, lockout for authorized persons, unexpected

Lockout procedures provide detailed instruction on how to isolate and lock each energy source for a given piece of equipment, helping to prevent the unexpected energization or startup of machinery and equipment, or the release of hazardous energy during service or maintenance activities. Having equipment specific lockout procedures written for each piece of equipment is required by OSHA. Martin Technical’s Rapid LOTO lockout procedure development program is designed to provide high quality procedures that are easy to follow.

Pilgrim’s Pride received a $7,000 penalty for an electrical cable that was damaged and improperly spliced. The additional $70,000 in fines come from Pilgrim’s Pride being a repeat offender – the Russellville plant was cited for the same violation in 2010, for not training workers on the right way to keep machinery from starting unexpectedly.

At Martin Technical, we genuinely care about people – contact an expert on our Safety & Compliance Team today to discuss how we can assist you, your workers, and your business.

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Lockout Failure Results in Amputation at Chicago-area Poultry Facility

Chicago, IL – OSHA has proposed penalties of $52,500 against Aspen Foods, Inc after a worker lost part of his finger in a machine. The employee lost part of his right middle finger while clearing a paper jam on a machine that lacked adequate safety guards. The northwest suburban Chicago-area poultry processing facility is based in Park Ridge and provides food service, retail and quick-serve chicken products.

OSHA inspectors found the machine lacked adequate safety guards to protect workers from dangerous moving parts by using locking devices to prevent operation while clearing the paper jam, known as lockout/tagout procedures. OSHA also issued four serious violations to Koch Foods Inc. which does business as Aspen Foods.

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Lockout/Tagout Failures at Case Farms Garner $1.4M in Fines

Canton, OH – OSHA has levied penalties against Case Farms Processing Inc. for 16 violations at the chicken processor’s Canton facility. The supplier of fast food and supermarket chicken is facing more than $1.4 million in fines this year for worker safety and health violations.

OSHA says the lockout failures resulted in two serious injuries to workers while they cleaned machines: A 17-year-old worker (employed by cleaning subcontractor Cal-Clean) had his left leg amputated from the knee down, and a 24-year-old Case Farms employee lost two fingertips. Both workers were fired after the incidents.

OSHA requires equipment-specific lockout procedures for industrial machinery. These lockout/tagout procedures provide detailed instruction on how to isolate and lock each energy source for a given piece of equipment, helping to prevent the unexpected energization or startup of machinery and equipment, or the release of hazardous energy during service or maintenance activities.  Martin Technical’s Rapid LOTO (Lock Out, Tag Out) procedure development program is designed to provide high quality procedures that are easy for employees to follow.

OSHA cited Case Farms for safety violations with proposed penalties of $424,600 on Sept 24. The agency also penalized Cal-Clean’s owner, Callaghan and Callaghan with $179,700 in fines on Sept. 28, for another safety violations. Both companies were cited for exposing workers to serious hazards.

In August, OSHA placed Case Farms in the agency’s Severe Violator Enforcement Program, after it assessed $861,500 in penalties following investigations at the company’s Winesburg, Ohio facility.

Case Farms processes 2.8 million chickens per week at seven facilities in North Carolina and Ohio. It has more than 3,200 employees and produces more than 900 million pounds of fresh, partially cooked and frozen-for-export poultry products yearly. Callaghan and Callaghan is located in Greensboro, North Carolina and is contracted to clean some of Case Farms’ facilities.

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Case Farms Goes on OSHA’s Severe Violator List, Fines over $860,000

Winesburg, OH – Case Farms chicken producing and processing company has been placed in the Severe Violator Enforcement Program of the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration after the agency issued more citations and $861,500 in fines this week.

Case Farms is the leading supplier of chicken to national fast food and supermarket brands. In its inspection, OSHA found that Case Farms employees “are exposed to the dangers of amputation, electrocution, and hazardous falls on a daily basis.”

Case Farms was issued two willful, 20 repeat, 30 serious, and three other-than-serious safety and health violations. The violations stem from an inspection in February that found amputation hazards, lack of personal protective equipment, and numerous violations of electrical safety standards, among other violations.

In a press release, Dr. David Michaels, assistant secretary of labor for OSHA stated:“Case Farms is an outrageously dangerous place to work. In the past 25 years, Case Farms has been cited for more than 350 safety and health violations. Despite committing to OSHA that it would eliminate serious hazards, Case Farms continues to endanger the safety and health of its workers. This simply must stop.”

Case Farms issued the following statement in response: “We do not agree with the negative characterizations that have been made about our company and our employees” by OSHA. The company said it has 930 employees at the Winesburg facility, and its last lost-time injury there was on Sept. 16, 2014.

Despite this safety record, an OSHA representative said the agency’s investigation determined that “the company was aware of the dangers, but continued to expose workers to serious and potentially fatal injuries.”

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