How processing plants are stepping up safety

RFD-TV’s Emily Buck reports on the protocols Arkansas processing plants are implementing to insure the health of their workers is kept and that operations continue to function.

The Arkansas Department of Heath recently toured two Tyson facilities to provide feedback on its safety measures. The plant requires all employees and visitors to wear safety masks, they have installed infrared temperature scanners at entrances, and question employees on their activity prior coming into work.

Dr. Richard McMullen was one of the inspectors who toured the plants. According to him, even times when close interaction could not be avoided the plant had good protocols in place.

“In cases where people couldn’t be six feet or greater apart, people directly across the line would have a visor...they had dividers between workers...lots of hand sanitizers throughout, as well as hand washing stations,” he said.

Break rooms and hallways were marked with social distancing guides to encourage people to space out. However, it is hard to deter social interaction when it is human nature.

“You know people like to be social...there were tables with social distancing cues, but I did not see a lot of people utilizing them,” McMullen said.

Overall, Dr. McMullen’s experience was positive and he was even impressed with the new policies for sick leave: getting rid of penalties for missing work and paid leave. Currently, all 29 USDA inspected packing plants remain open in the state.

For more information click HERE.

For all updates on the Coronavirus and how it impacts Rural America, visit our Coronavirus outbreak hub.