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Worker loses arm in food processing plant accident

A food processing plant worker was recently injured in a serious workplace accident at a Jennie-O Turkey facility. Federal safety inspectors say that there were serious workplace safety hazards present at the plant which contributed to the severe accident and the loss of the employee’s arm. Workplace accidents such as this one are not uncommon across the country and often require an employee to file for workers’ compensation benefits.

New Jersey’s workers’ compensation system is designed so that injured workers can receive the medical attention they need without any need to place blame on their colleagues or employers. There are many dangerous work situations which can lead to serious personal injuries, and workers’ compensation benefits are often the main way that a worker can pay for the medical expenses and lost wages associated with a serious workplace accident.

In the case of the Jennie-O Turkey processing plant employee, authorities say that the employee was injured when his arm was caught in an energized shackle line. The employee’s personal injuries resulted in the amputation of his arm, and spurred an inspection by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration. OSHA inspectors found 11 safety violations at the plant and issued proposed fines of $318,000.

“Jennie-O Turkey Store has a legal responsibility to follow established permit-required confined space regulations to ensure that its employees are properly protected from known workplace hazards,” said a spokesperson for OSHA. “Failing to ensure protection through appropriate training and adherence to OSHA regulations led to a worker losing an arm.”

Source: OSHA, “US Department of Labor’s OSHA cites Jennie-O Turkey Store for 11 safety violations after amputation of worker’s arm at Barron, Wis., processing facility,” Region 5 News Release: 12-42-CHI, Jan. 23, 2012

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