A U.S. Federal court has sentenced Tyson Foods to pay a $500,000 criminal fine and serve one year of probation for violating worker safety violations that led to the death of one of its employees at a plant in Arkansas, the Justice Department announced today.
Tyson pled guilty to the crime in January. The fine is the maximum possible.
In 2003, the company failed to limit employee exposure to toxic hydrogen sulfide gas at the companyâ€™s River Valley Animal Foods plant in Texarkana, Ark.
On Oct 10 of that year, employee Jason Kelley was overcome by the gas while making repairs on a high-pressure steam processor which recycles poultry products into protein and fats for the animal food industry. He later died. Another employee and two emergency responders were hospitalized due to exposure during a rescue attempt. Two other employees were treated at the scene.