The need for safer saws - Hollymatic 2019 - 4

the plant lost control of the meat and cut
through the three middle fingers on his left
The US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports
injury and illness rates for the meatpacking
industry are three times higher than the
national average with amputations by
blades among the most serious. A 2016
OSHA report ranks animal slaughtering and
processing eighth among all industries for
the highest number of severe injuries. The
same report states that
numbers may actually be
While amputations from
saws continue to threaten
worker and food safety,
it's important to note that
worker safety initiatives and
programs in the industry
have lowered the incidence
of occupational injuries and

"It's not about money, it's
about taking care of the
people," Stouffer says.


Roughly three years ago,
Tyson Fresh Meats Inc. and
its president, Steve Stouffer, were part of a
conscientious decision on the part of Tyson
Foods to "fix worker safety." The company
would accept some short-term sacrifices in
the name of long-term improvement.

The Defender's
detection system
verifies the
operator is wearing
PPE before
every start.

"When we were given that cart blanche to
head down that path, we in the fresh meat
side of the equation in particular, jumped in
with both feet," Stouffer says.
However it would not be an easy task, it
would require a considerable shift in culture.
The attitude throughout the meatpacking
industry needed to change. The historical
mindset has been that meat processing
is inherently dangerous, but thanks to
companies like Tyson and Hollymatic,
that culture has changed and continues
to evolve through initiatives, programs,
machines and the equipment necessary to
process and produce meat and poultry.
"People still get hurt and still get illnesses,"
Stouffer says. "So we've got to continue to
strive. Our goal is to get to zero."
A Band Saw with the ability to significantly
decrease cuts and amputations represents
an investment well worth the cost. Tyson's
Dakota Dunes, South Dakota, plant has
implemented multiple Defender Band Saws
with more on order and has plans
to install them into other plants
around the country. Another large
producer has multiple Defender
PC1500s in its facility now.
"A lot of the manufacturers of
the original Poultry Cutters are
not making them because of
the liability, because they are
so dangerous," Guynn says.
"The PC1500 is a nice compact
manual unit. A lot of poultry
producers are automated
throughout the entire plant, so any
kind of broken birds or anything that
can't be done automatically normally
gets sent to the Poultry Cutter, to the


The need for safer saws - Hollymatic 2019

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