OSHA cites Tyson Foods of Jefferson, Wis., for exposing workers to safety hazards; fines total $45,000

The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration has issued Tyson Foods of Jefferson 10 safety citations for failing to comply with general industry occupational safety regulations. The company faces penalties totaling $45,000 as a result of an OSHA inspection conducted in October 2010.

“Employers are responsible for knowing what hazards exist in their workplaces and ensuring that workers are not exposed to risks that could result in injury or death,” said Kimberly Stille, OSHA’s area director in Madison.

Tyson was issued nine serious citations after inspectors noted a lack of fall protection; deficiencies in Tyson’s process safety management program, respiratory protection program and control of hazardous energy lockout/tagout program; and a lack of proper maintenance of powered industrial trucks. A serious violation occurs when there is substantial probability that death or serious physical harm could result from a hazard about which the employer knew or should have known.

Tyson also received one other-than-serious citation for failure to conduct a personal protection equipment hazard assessment. An other-than-serious violation is one that has a direct relationship to job safety and health, but probably would not cause death or serious physical harm.

The company has 15 business days from receipt of its citations and penalties to comply, request an informal conference with OSHA’s area director or contest the findings before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission. Employers and employees with questions regarding workplace safety and health standards can call OSHA’s Madison Area Office at 608-441-5388.

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