Dangerous chemicals are an unfortunate and hazardous part of life in many manufacturing and food processing facilities, but workers do not have to suffer because of them. Tyson Foods was recently ordered to clean up its act regarding ammonia in its plants, according to Tyson Foods Pays $4 Million To Settle Complaint Over Worker Exposure To Ammonia.
Between 2006 and 2010 more than a dozen workers were injured, and there was one death, in the companies’ plants in the Midwest. The cause was traced back to ammonia that was “related to anhydrous ammonia, a gas that’s commonly used in refrigeration but can cause burning, choking and even death at high exposure.” One instance of injury was particularly severe: “One worker was chemically burned over 25 percent of his body and spent 45 days in the hospital,” according to the complaint filed in District Court.
After an EPA investigation, Tyson Foods settled with the Justice Department for $3.95 million. Tyson will also have to invest in emergency response equipment for local communities where it operates, and create a new risk-management program. The settlement was a response to a complaint which was filed in the Eastern District of Missouri back in April 2013 which states that Tyson Foods violated the Clean Air Act.
Tyson operates several plants in Georgia.
Tyson has had numerous issues with workers being injured over the years, according to Source Watch:
In 1999, seven Tyson employees were killed in workplace related incidents.
… In July of 1999 at the Robard, Kentucky plant; James Dame, Jr.
and Mike Hallum fell into an open pit of decomposing chicken parts and
suffocated from methane gas. In October of 1999 at the Berlin, Maryland
plant; Charles Shepherd died from head trauma after a fall in the chiller
room. There were also two workplace fatalities at the Harrisonburg, Virginia
poultry plant. In addition, two workers died from electrocution at Tyson
chicken houses in 1999.
If you or someone you know has been injured due to chemical exposure on the job, or feels they have suffered due to a hazardous working situation, call Nate Hansford at 770-922-3660 for a free consultation about a possible worker’s compensation case.