A worker who was injured during the overnight shift at a St. Joseph meat-processing plant was transferred to a Kansas City area hospital for treatment.
A spokesman said the company is investigating the cause of the accident early Thursday morning at the Hillshire Brands plant at 5807 Mitchell Ave., in the Mitchell Woods Business Park.
Tyson Foods spokesman Dan Fogleman said the Hillshire worker was “seriously hurt” during the overnight sanitation shift while cleaning equipment. The worker was transferred to the University of Kansas Hospital in Kansas City, Kan., for treatment.
“We’re still gathering details about this unfortunate accident and we’ll be looking into what caused it to determine how to prevent similar accidents in the future,” Mr. Fogleman said in a statement.
Details on the worker’s injuries were not available, although St. Joseph police said the man suffered severe injuries to both arms. “Our thoughts and prayers are with him as he recovers,” Mr. Fogleman said in the statement.
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration was informed of the accident and is sending a compliance officer to the factory in St. Joseph.
Sheldon Lyon, executive director for the St. Joseph Safety & Health Council, explained some of the specifics on occupational safety.
“There is training that’s referred to as Lock-Out Tag-out,” said Mr. Lyon, “which refers to de-energizing machines before maintenance is done on them. That’s one area where safety precautions are taken.”
He added,”When you look at the work environment in the workplace today, it’s much more safe than it was in 1970 when OSHA became a federal agency.”
Tyson Foods of Springdale, Ark., completed its merger with Hillshire Brands in 2014. The company has more than $40 billion in sales and makes products such as Jimmy Dean sausages, Hillshire Farm lunch meats and Ball Park hot dogs.
The St. Joseph plant, formerly operated by Sara Lee Foods, makes processed meat products. The processing facility opened about 15 years ago in St. Joseph.