A worker died in a blender at an Oregon meat plant on Friday. The man, 41-year-old Hugo Avalos-Chanon, was cleaning in the plant when he apparently fell into the running blender.
Deputy Nate Thompson with the Clackamas County Sheriff’s Office stated that Avalos-Chanon, who lived in Portland, worked for DCS Sanitation Management, which holds a contract with Interstate Meat Distributors.
The worker who died in a blender was discovered on Friday around 11:45 pm. Paramedics and sheriff’s deputies were called to the plant at that time. Another worker hit an emergency stop button for the blender. Unfortunately, it was too late.
Thompson added that firefighters returned the next day to dismantle the blender and remove the body. Dr. Cliff Young, a deputy state medical examiner, stated that Hugo Avalos-Chanon died from “blunt-force injuries and chopping wounds.”
The death has been called a “tragic industrial accident.” Investigators do not suspect any foul play. An Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) report from last fall on the meat plant found that machines are not locked during the cleaning process. The inspector added that an “unexpected start-up of the machine” could result in injury.
Oregon OSHA spokeswoman Melanie Mesaros cautioned that it is too early to assess who may be at fault for the worker’s gruesome blender death. Mesaros explained, “It’s way too early to say. We’re just starting our investigation, which could take six months.”
OSHA investigators are looking into the worker’s death in the blender. They are examining evidence, interviewing witnesses, and also reviewing records. Darrin Hoy, president of Interstate Meat Distributors, where the accident took place, stated that company officials are fully cooperating with the investigation. He added that Avalos-Chanon’s death was “extremely unfortunate” and hard to talk about.
Mesaros added that previous inspections of DCS Sanitation Management’s operations turned up no violations. While the investigation into the worker who did in a blender at the Oregon meat plant is in its early stages, it is likely the result of a tragic accident.