Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Worker dies in blender: Cleaning worker ‘found entangled in the machinery’

Worker dies in blender: Cleaning worker ‘found entangled in the machinery’, After a worker died in a blender while cleaning the blender at a meat-processing plant, investigators believe the worker’s death is “a tragic industrial accident.” Deputy Nate Thompson who identified the worker who died in the running meat blender as 41-year-old Hugo Avalos-Chanon from Portland said that “investigators believe the death is a ‘tragic industrial accident’ and do not suspect foul play,” reported the Associated Press via ABC News on May 1, 2013.

Deputy Nate Thompson commented that 41-year-old Hugo Avalos-Chanon from Portland, Ore., worked for DCS Sanitation Management, a cleaning company that has a contract with Interstate Meat Distributors.

On Friday night around 11:45 p.m., Clackamas County sheriff's deputies and Clackamas Fire District 1 paramedics were called to the Interstate Meat Distributors plant in Clackamas, Ore., where Hugo Avalos-Chanon had been working on a meat processing blender that regulates the fat content of ground meat.

Hugo Avalos-Chanon “was found entangled in the machinery” to such a degree that firefighters had to return the next morning in order to “help dismantle the machinery and extricate Avalos-Chanon's body.”

According to an Oregon Live report on April 29, 2013, another worker at the meat processing company had tried to hit an emergency button, but it had been too late.

Deputy state medical examiner Dr. Cliff Young said that Hugo Avalos-Chanon died from "blunt-force injuries and chopping wounds."

While Oregon state authorities are still investigation how a cleaning worker could have fallen into a running blender at the meat-processing plant, the “tragic industrial accident” is not the first controversial incident at Interstate Meat Distributors.

In 2007, Interstate Meat Distributors was the source of an E. coli outbreak that sickened eight people in Oregon, Washington, and Idaho. The E. coli outbreak led to a recall of 41,000 pounds of ground beef.

Last fall, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) found that some of the company’s “machines were not locked during the tear-down process for cleaning,” which could cause an unexpected start-up.

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