Kings County, CA- The U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is investigating the death of a 72-year-old worker who fell into a meat-grinding machine at a Kings County processing plant.
The work-related accident occurred February 28, 2011 at Central Valley Meat Company. According to information from the San Jose Mercury News, the body of Hanford resident Leopoldo Gutierrez was found inside a large meat-grinding machine at the processing plant. Guiterrez was apparently cleaning inside the grinder when it switched on. Responding emergency crews pronounced Gutierrez dead at the scene.
“Despite all safety precautions there was an unforeseen tragic accident at our plant,” General Manager Brian Coelho said in a prepared statement. “The circumstances are being fully investigated.”
This isn’t the first accident to occur at the California plant. In November 2004, a worker accidentally activated a meat grinder while cleaning, but was able to switch it off before being pulled in. A second accident occurred in December 2010, when a worker’s hand became caught in the grinder. The worker sustained a partial amputation as a result of the incident. The December accident is still under investigation, according to a spokeswoman for California’s workplace safety agency. Central Valley Meat paid a $1,100 fine for the failure to lock out the device in the 2004 incident.