Worker Dies In Blender: Hugo Avalos-Chanon Killed; How Deadly Is Oregon Meat-Processing Plant?

By Staff Reporter on May 1, 2013 1:33 AM EDT

Beef
Meat grinder produces USDA ground beef. (Photo: Creative Commons)

A worker died in a blender late Friday. According to authorities, 41-year-old cleaning contractor Hugo Avalos-Chanon died instantly when he was swallowed by a mechanical blender at Interstate Meat Distributors Inc. of Southeast Portland, Oregon. 

An industrial blender that is used to regulate the fat content in Interstate's meat products, Hugo Avalos-Chanon was supposed to perform scheduled maintenance on the machine. Paramedics responded to the incident just before midnight. Firefighters had to dismantle the blender to remove Avalos-Chanon on Saturday.

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According to medical examiners, Hugo Avalos-Chanon suffered severe chopping wounds and blunt-force injuries. Although investigators have yet to confirm the cause of death, the Interstate Meat Distributors Inc. meat processing plant is noted known to have a troubled past. Last October, the factory was cited for pressing safety hazards.

According to inspectors of the Occupational Safety and Health Division, machinery in the meat-grounding facility are not properly locked down when cleaning procedures are performed. What's more, inspectors noted that "unexpected start-up of the machine" could potentially cause severe injuries.

Speaking with the Oregonian, Interstate Meat Distributors Inc. President Darrin Hoy said the death of Hugo Avalos-Chanon was extremely unfortunate and difficult to discuss. However, Hoy assures Interstate Meat Distributors Inc. will fully cooperate in the investigation.

According to Daily Mail, another accident was reported in 2005. However, records and details of the incident were not available. 

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