Worker Dies In Blender At Meat Processing Plant

    May 1, 2013
    Amanda Crum
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In a tragic accident in Oregon, a man fell into an industrial-sized blender at a meat packing plant last Friday while cleaning it and died.

41-year old Hugo Avalos-Chanon, an employee of DCS Sanitation Management, died of blunt-force trauma and “chopping wounds” after becoming tangled up in the blender. Officials say there was an emergency stop button, but by the time another employee was able to push it, Avalos-Chanon was already dead. Firefighters had to dismantle the blender to remove his body.

Authorities say the man’s death was a tragic workplace accident, but are still conducting an investigation and are looking into why the machinery wasn’t shut down during cleaning; it is unclear at this time what caused the blender to start up while Avalos-Chanon was working on it.

‘‘It’s way too early to say,’’ OSHA spokesperson Melanie Mesaros said. ‘‘We’re just starting our investigation, which could take six months.’’

  • polo

    when the machine was supposed to be locked/off during cleaning time, i am guessing that this is no accident but a murder

    • Pete

      It most likely wasn’t a murder. I work at Cargill Meat Solutions (another meat packing plant) on the in-house sanitation crew (the only in-house non contracted sanitation crew of all Cargill plants) and personally clean blenders exactly like the ones in Oregon. You can bet that the guy was trying to cut corners on his cleaning time and decided not to follow the lock out/tag out procedures, left the blender running and climbed on top to clean it. To clean these types of blenders you have to have an elevated work permit and wear a harness with a lanyard attached to a retractable cable that stops when a drop of about two feet happens to ensure that you don’t fall, however even if he was wearing his gear properly, if he fell two feet into the blender it would grab him with enough power to rip him from his harness anyway (it has to be locked out). And if he wasn’t wearing his gear properly… the same thing would happen. The reason that they can’t figure out what happened is because the supervisors are covering their own asses all the way to the top of the food chain (managers of managers). I’ve seen things like this (though not to this extent) where the proper action wasn’t taken, and it costs these companies lots of money and that’s why people don’t come out and just say what happened. So bottom line, guy was trying to hurry, he died, cost the company 1 life and millions in repairs, corresponding supervisor covers his ass, OSHA investigates.

  • Steve h

    Guess they were never taught Lock, tag and try. On the bright side I like Mexican food.