A cleaning company employee working at a meat-processing plant in Oregon was killed when he slipped and fell into a running meat blender.
41-year old Hugo Avalos-Chanon, a resident of Portland, died of blunt force trauma and other fatal wounds caused by the chopping action of the machinery.
Although a fellow employee tried to save the cleaner by hitting an emergency switch meant to stop the equipment from operating, his actions proved too late to save Avalos-Chanon. A firefighter rescue team was called in to extricate his body from the equipment.
Although officials at this time say that his death was an industrial accident with no foul play suspected, the meat processing plant where the accident took place allegedly had an OSHA violation last year.
OHSA inspectors discovered that the company failed to lock machines in place prior to cleaning them which could have resulted in the meat blender accidentally starting up while the cleaning employee was already in the process of his cleaning duties. There have been no other violations found on record for the business dating back to 2001.
Melanie Mesaros, Oregon OSHA spokeswoman, cautioned against jumping to conclusions.
“It’s way too early to say,” Mesaros told The Oregonian. “We’re just starting our investigation, which could take six months.”
Company officials say that they intend to offer their full cooperation in the investigation of Avalos-Chanon’s death, calling the incident “extremely unfortunate.”
“We’re not looking forward to reliving through any of it again,” Darrin Hoy, president of Interstate Meat Distributors, said.
Cleaner Killed After Falling into Running Meat Blender At industrial Meat Plant