Brad Respess, chief operating officer of Tip Top Poultry, was at Emory University Hospital in Atlanta Wednesday with the worker and his family.
“The outlook is very good. We’re very pleased at the outcome.” Respess said.
The worker's arm was amputated in an accident. The employee's name has been withheld by the company, citing privacy concerns.
Respess said Emory doctors reattached the arm in a surgery Tuesday night. He said doctors have predicted a complete recovery with full use of his arm.
“He’s going to be a guy who can come back and work at Tip Top,” Respess said.
The worker was first taken to Floyd Medical Center (FMC) in Rome and then transferred to Emory, he said.
Respess said it was not known at this time how the accident occurred. It happened as the worker was finishing up his duties at the end of the shift Tuesday, he said.
“Somehow, this young man got his arm in a piece of equipment that runs like a conveyor. It moves chicken,” he said.
“We have an investigation team going back and figuring out what happened so, going forward, it won’t happen again.”
Respess said the worker was hired April 2011 but had taken the mandatory safety courses required of all employees.
“We’ve got very extensive training. Every employee has to go through the safety training, so we have to go back and reconstruct how this happened,” Respess said.
The company has it’s own full-time safety manager at the plant with experience in fire and first-responder training, he said. He will be assisting in the investigation.
Respess said company officials are talking to those who witnessed the accident. He said officials would typically go to video surveillance for details, but the worker was in an area which isn’t watched by a camera.
Respess said he and his father-in-law, Tip Top Poultry President and CEO Robin Burruss, have been at the hospital with the worker and his family from the time he was admitted.
Company officials also brought the worker’s mother, who also works at the plant, and a close co-worker to the hospital. He said the worker’s other family and extended family are also there.
He said the company would continue to be there for the family because every worker is like family at Tip Top. He also said the biggest concern, beyond the worker’s medical care, is preventing a future accident.
“I just don’t know how this happened,” he said.