A 41 year old cleaning worker was killed in what is being called a “tragic industrial accident” at a meat processing plant located in Clackamas, Oregon according to a Yahoo! News report published April 30, 2013. Hugo Avalos-Chanon (41 years old), an employee of DCS Sanitation Management and a Portland native, died after reportedly falling into a running blender. The emergency stop button was pressed and authorities were called to the scene Friday night where they found Avalos-Chanon’s body “entangled” in the machine.
Dr. Cliff Young (deputy state medical examiner) reported that Avalos-Chanon died from “blunt-force injuries and chopping wounds.” Deputy Nate Thompson said investigators believe that Avalos-Chanon’s death is a tragic accident. OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration) is also involved in their own investigation and spokeswoman Melanie Mesaros cautioned about jumping to conclusions. They just started their investigation and said it could take up to six months to come to any conclusions.
The Yahoo! News report also stated that “An OSHA report on the plant from last fall found machines were not locked during the tear-down process for cleaning. The inspector said an “unexpected start-up of the machine” could cause injuries.”
It was reported though, that OSHA has inspections on file for DCS Sanitation Management (the cleaning company hired to clean Interstate Meat Distributors – the place of this horrific incident) from 2001, 2002, and 2004 all showing no violations.
The president of Interstate Meat Distributors, Darrin Hoy reported that company officials are cooperating fully with the investigation but also told reporters that Avalos-Chanon’s death was “extremely unfortunate” and difficult to talk about.
No foul play is expected at this point.