In a horrible industrial accident, a Clackamas, Ore. worker was killed when he fell into a running blender at a meat-processing plant, the Clackamas County Sheriff’s Office said.
According to an April 30 Yahoo! News report, 41-year-old Portland native Hugo Avalos-Chanon, an employee of DCS Sanitation Management, was cleaning the giant blender overnight on Friday.
Interstate Meat Distributors owns the plant, but they contract out with DCS to have their equipment cleaned nightly.
Paramedics and sheriff’s deputies were called around 11:45 p.m. Friday, after Avalos-Chanon was found entangled in the machinery. The emergency stop button was hit, but it was too late, Thompson said. Firefighters returned the following day to dismantle the machine and remove the body.
Dr. Cliff Young, a deputy state medical examiner, said Avalos-Chanon died from “blunt-force injuries and chopping wounds.”
No foul play is expected.
Investigators with the Occupational Safety and Health Administration are now examining evidence, interviewing witnesses and reviewing records, especially after an OSHA review last year found that the machines were not locked during the tear-down process for cleaning.
The inspector said last fall that an “unexpected start-up of the machine” could cause injuries.
While it has not been ruled out that the accident was caused by a machine-start up, Melanie Mesaros, Oregon OSHA spokeswoman, cautioned against jumping to conclusions.
“It’s way too early to say,” Mesaros said. “We’re just starting our investigation, which could take six months.”
Darrin Hoy, president of Interstate Meat Distributors, said company officials are cooperating fully with investigators, but Avalos-Chanon’s death was “extremely unfortunate” and difficult to discuss.
“We’re not looking forward to reliving through any of it again,” Hoy said.