Tyson Plant Prepares to Reopen After Fire

The company paid workers throughout the shutdown.

On August 9, 2019, a fire at a Tyson meat processing plant in Holcomb, Kansas, forced the facility to shut down. 

According to local reports, the sparks from welders conducting maintenance operations near the slaughterhouse likely caused the fire. No one was harmed in the blaze. 

The complex is home to Tyson Fresh Meats, the beef and pork subsidiary of Tyson Foods. 

The fire damaged the area that housed the hydraulic and electrical systems for the slaughterhouse and cooler and caused part of the roof to collapse. It also put about 1,200 people out of work. 

Yesterday, Tyson announced plans to get back to work. The reconstructed plant is nearly done, and the company will begin processing beef in the first week of December. 

The effort includes a new roof, support beams, hydraulic piping and pumps, and about 50,000 feet of new wiring, including the reconstruction of the electrical panel rooms and equipment. 

The plant should be fully operational by the first week of the new year. However, the company will spend December testing the new equipment and making the necessary adjustments to ramp up production. 

In the interim, Tyson diverted cattle to other beef facilities to try and offset production volume losses. The company also continued to pay full-time team members for 40 hours per week throughout the shutdown. 

Tyson says that the employees were instrumental in the clean-up and reconstruction. As you can see from the before and after photos provided by the company, they certainly had their work cut out for them.