CENTER, TX (KTRE) - OSHA has fined the Tyson chicken processing facility in Center more than $260,000 after investigating a workplace incident in which an employee lost his finger in a conveyor belt.
According a US Department of Labor press release, inspectors identified two repeated and 15 serious violations.
The investigation revealed the employee's finger became stuck in an unguarded conveyor belt as he worked in the debone area and tried to remove chicken parts jammed in the belt, according to the press release.
OSHA inspectors also found more than a dozen serious violations, including failing to ensure proper safety guards on moving machine parts, allowing carbon dioxide levels above the permissible exposure limit, failing to provide personal protective equipment and not training employees on hazards associated with peracetic acid, according to the press release. Used as a disinfectant, the acid can cause burns and respiratory illness if not handled safely.
Inspectors also found employees exposed to slip-and-fall hazards due to a lack of proper drainage, trip-and-fall hazards caused by recessed drains and fire hazards resulting from of improper stored compressed gas cylinders, according to the press release. The inspection falls under OSHA's Regional Emphasis Program for Poultry Processing Facilities.
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, according to the press release. 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, according to the press release.