Last years chlorine gas leak at a Springdale Tyson plant was caused by a worker with limited understanding of English, according to a new report by Centers For Disease Control, CDC.
The report says the gas leak was the result of the worker pouring sodium hypochlorite into 55-gallon drum that contained an acidic solution. More than 600 workers were evacuated and at least 150 were hospitalized for treatment following the leak, according to the CDC.
The CDC reports that the drum had been put in the wrong place but the employee couldn't read the label.
"This chlorine release and its resultant health effects were preventable," said the report, "OSHA issued the owner of the poultry plant a citation for not ensuring that chemical hazard communication training was understood by all employees."
But Tyson is disputing the CDC report. In a release on Thursday, they said the worker is a native English speaker who was able to read the label but didn't. The company states that the report misidentifies the worker responsible for the leak and also failed to note the immediate actions taken by the plant as part their emergency action plan.
The CDC recommended the plant increase communication efforts, including facilitating communication with employees in various languages if necessary.
Read the full CDC report.
Read the full statement from Tyson.