A meat processing factory worker in Oregon has been killed after falling inside a blender during a cleaning procedure, authorities say.
The Oregonian informed that 41-year-old Hugo Avalos-Chanon of Portland was killed on Friday, April 27, while trying to clean a blender at Interstate Meat Distributors Inc. Avalos-Chanon.
His passing occurred in gruesome conditions – the medical examiner declared the cause of death as “blunt-force injuries and chopping wounds.”
A co-worker saw Avalos-Chanon falling inside and tried to stop the machinery by pressing an emergency button, but he was too late to intervene as the worker died in instants.
He was employed by DCS Sanitation Management Inc., a cleaning company servicing the Clackamas meat-processing facility.
The blender that the cleaner was working on is used for post-processing after grinding. The incident took place at approximately 11:45 p.m. on Friday, which is when Clackamas Fire District 1 paramedics were dispatched at the scene.
They were forced to return to pull out the staffer's body the following day, which could only be done by taking apart the massive piece of equipment.
Officials say that an inquiry into the worker's death could span over six months.
“It's way too early to say. [...] We're just starting our investigation, which could take six months,” clarifies Melanie Mesaros, Oregon spokeswoman for the Occupational Safety and Health Division.
The company was warned in October about their grinders not being locked up during cleaning and maintenance, possibly endangering staffers.
At the time, OSHD officials reported that an “unexpected start-up of the machine” could cause injuries.
Interstate Meat Distributors will be carrying on their own investigation into the “extremely unfortunate” incident. The plant has not stopped production after the accident.
“We're not looking forward to reliving through any of it again,” says company president Darrin Hoy.