Newspaper article Charleston Gazette Mail

OSHA Sues Ex-Marion Jerky Plant

Newspaper article Charleston Gazette Mail

OSHA Sues Ex-Marion Jerky Plant

Article excerpt

Federal workplace safety officials have sued a former Marion County beef jerky plant, alleging the owners punished an employee who called 911 after another worker was injured in the job. The U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration filed its lawsuit Thursday against Lone Star Western Beef Inc. and its owner, John Bachman, over the handling of an incident in July 2014 in which part of another worker's thumb was cut off.

According to the lawsuit, filed in U.S. District Court in Clarksburg, said that on July 7, 2014, employee Michele Butler- Savage heard co-worker Chris Crane exclaim that he had cut his finger.

"Butler-Savage saw blood running down Crane's hand and arm, and believed that he sustained a serious injury," the lawsuit states. Butler-Savage went to assist Crane while another co-worker went to get Bachman, according to court documents.

Butler-Savage put Crane's hand under cold water and tried to slow the bleeding with paper towels and then used her personal cellphone to dial 911. The call went through, but when Bachman arrived he told her not to call 911 and instructed her to hang up, documents state.

"Butler-Savage told Bachman that Crane needed an ambulance, the lawsuit said. "Bachman responded that he would decide whether to call an ambulance and instructed Butler-Savage to get back to work.

At the time he cut his finger, Crane was operating a band saw to cut beef as part of the manufacturing process. The blade of the band saw had severed a piece of Crane's right thumb. After instructing Butler-Savage to hang up the phone, Bachman collected the severed piece of Crane's thumb and had supervisor Kay Davis drive Crane to an urgent care clinic. The clinic transferred Crane to a hospital emergency room in an ambulance. The emergency room was ultimately unable to reattach the severed portion of Crane's thumb, the suit said. …

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