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Workers’ compensation: Fatal accident at Tyson food plant

The death of an employee who was on the job is not just a tragedy for those who cared about the person, but it can have serious consequences for the company involved. North Carolina companies generally want to do the right thing for the families of their employees, but there may be questions on the best way to accomplish that and whether the company has any liability. Fortunately, workers’ compensation is an option for an employee’s family in many cases. It may be the choice that one grieving family makes after an out-of-state accident at a food processing plant cost one worker his life.

Authorities say that the incident happened on a recent afternoon at a Tyson food plant. Details about this exact event are scarce at the moment, but representatives for Tyson Foods issued a public statement that said they are working with local officials and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration to determine precisely what happened. Authorities are awaiting the results of an autopsy before making any specific determinations.

OSHA says that this is not the first instance of a worker accident at this plant. Just a few years ago, a worker lost a finger in a rotating blade when he was attempting to reach inside the machinery. The plant has also had several OSHA violations over the years, paying fines totaling more than $13,000. Once OSHA completes its report, the company will have several available options. It can pay any fines incurred, contest the findings or request a meeting with OSHA officials.

No matter what the OSHA report finds, the family of the worker is likely devastated. Their grief may not be the only struggle they have to contend with, as they may need the income that the worker provided. Workers’ compensation is designed for just this purpose, so that injured employees or surviving family members of workers have access to income after a workplace accident. Those in North Carolina who want more information may want to reach out to an attorney for guidance.