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Job injuries strikingly high at Tyson meat-processing plants

On behalf of Jeffrey Frederick of Frederick & Hagle posted in Industrial Workers’ Accidents on Thursday, March 3, 2016.

Tyson is one of the most popular chicken and beef suppliers in Illinois and across the country. Meat is a common staple of most dinner plates, but the process that gets it there might not be that safe. Job injuries at Tyson processing plants are alarmingly common.

From Jan. to Sept. 2015, Tyson made a total of 34 hospitalization or amputation reports to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration. A total of 17 of those reports specifically involved amputations, a startlingly high number. Perhaps most striking was the lack of description in those reports. There were few details included, with little to no information regarding the events that took place just prior to the accident or any plans to address the problem.

Although the reports might have been purposely vague, experts were still able to discern certain patterns. Most of the employees who suffered amputations while on the job worked in beef-processing plants and suffered the loss of thumbs, fingers and entire hands. One victim ended up losing both of his hands to amputation. OSHA blamed most of these accidents on botched machinery or processing. Aside from the amputations at the beef plants, other injuries occurred because of insufficient safety training or unnecessary hazardous conditions.

With meat the staple that it currently is, high demand likely has the majority of Tyson’s processing plants operating at their full potential. However, consumer demand should never trump employee safety, especially when the types of job injuries can potentially make victims unable to maintain future gainful employment. Workers’ compensation benefits are a practical and often necessary approach to meeting daily needs when an Illinois employer’s safety negligence resulted in a serious injury.

Source: thenation.com, “Amputated Hands and Torn Fingers: The Meat-Processing Industry’s Horrifying Injuries“, Michelle Chen, Feb. 24, 2016

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