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Seafood plant worker cooked to death in industrial oven

bumble bee seafoods occupational safety and health california

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#1 Hum

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Posted 13 October 2012 - 21:39

A worker at a Santa Fe Springs seafood plant met a tragic end this week after he was found cooked to death in an industrial oven, according to a report by the Whittier Daily News.

Officials at the Whittier Police Department said in a statement that they received a call about 7 a.m. Thursday, “regarding an industrial accident” involving a worker at Bumble Bee Seafoods at 13100 Arctic Circle in Santa Fe Springs.

Police and local fire department personnel responded to the business, where they found a 62-year-old male employee dead at the scene, authorities said. They did not describe the nature of the accident and directed media to the California Division of Occupational Safety and Health, which is investigating the issue.

Bumble Bee Foods officials could also not be reached, but identified the employee to the Whittier Daily News as Jose Melena, who had worked for the business for six years, the newspaper reported.

Cal-OSHA spokeswoman Erika Monterroza told the paper that an initial investigation indicated that Melena “was fatally injured when he was cooked in an oven” but it was unclear how he ended up inside the oven, resulting in this “horrendous tragedy,” the newspaper said.

Pat Menke, vice president of human resources for Bumble Bee Foods , expressed condolences to Melena’s family. Operations at the plant have been suspended until Monday, the statement said.

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#2 Crisp

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Posted 13 October 2012 - 21:47

No human hair in my bumble bee tuna please.

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#3 Titoist

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Posted 13 October 2012 - 22:10

In this extreme instance, the company is 100% responsible. The reason I say this is that ALL Industrial equipment including furnaces have guards and accessways that ensure that no person can enter. Furnaces especially are unique in the fact that they produce gasses that would kill. In a running or recently run furnace these gases can kill a person before they even enter, thus all furnaces have a gasout proceedure that can take anyware between several hours to several days depending on size. Additonally, furnaces are considered a CSE zone (Confined Safety Entrance), thus all employees must be fully trained and have a certified spotter incase of emergency. Finally, because he was "cooked", the furnace was active. It seems to me, this company had absolutely no safety policies, or very lackluster lockout proceedures. I know when I toured U.S. Industrial Facilities, they were notorious for not having any safety proceedures. Here in Ontario, it is the law and 1 infraction can shut down a company for good if it is deemed serious and that the company was negligent.

For some people here, you may not be familiar with a lockout proceedure (depending on country and laws), so here is a quick 4min summary;


Edit: I just noticed that the spokesperson stated "Operations suspended until Monday". This is outrageous. The company needs to do an investigation to determine how, why and what corrective actions can be taken. Such things cannot be given a timeline. Giving a timeline introduces bias and cause for error on those investigating.

#4 OP Hum

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Posted 13 October 2012 - 22:21

I won't be buying tuna for a while ....

#5 Growled

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Posted 13 October 2012 - 23:35

I won't be buying anything from Bumble Bee Seafoods for sure.