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Workplace injury: Chicken farm exposes workers to amputations

Millions of people nationwide enjoy KFC every day, including some in Colorado. Consumers may be interested in the working conditions at the company's major chicken supplier in another state. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration inspected the facilities at the chicken processing plant, and a spokesperson reported that this is one of the most dangerous workplace environments he has seen. The farm and a company contracted to clean the facility were cited for safety violations that could lead to cases of serious workplace injury.

One of the instances that led to the inspection involved a worker who suffered an amputation injury when he was cleaning a machine. The worker was only 17-years-old and not allowed to work in areas in which dangerous machinery was present. Half of his one leg was lost in this accident and rendered him unable to work. He was reportedly dismissed after the incident.

In another incident, a 24-year-old worker lost two fingers when he had to clean a machine that was not switched off while it was being cleaned. According to OSHA, the employment of this worker was also terminated. The chicken supplier operates several facilities in different locations and employs 3,200 workers who might all be exposed to dangerous workplace environments.

Because the federal agency put the employer in its Severe Violator Enforcement Program, other workers may be less exposed to workplace injury hazards in the future. However, those who have already suffered injuries that involved amputations will likely have ongoing medical expenses and may only be able to work in positions that would require them to learn new skills. The workers' compensation program assists injured individuals in Colorado and elsewhere with vocational training to accommodate disabilities. Also, benefits typically cover medical expenses and lost wages.

Source: aol.com, "People say they lost fingers and legs while working for a KFC chicken supplier", Clint Rainey, Oct. 1, 2015

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