Clackamas, OR - Hugo Avalos-Chanon died a horrible death other day after the 41-=year-old cleaning contractor fell into a mechanical blender at a meat-processing plant.
Avalos-Chanon worked for DCS Sanitation Management Inc., which performs daily cleaning of equipment at Interstate Meat Distributors. Shortly before midnight Friday, emergency crews were called to the plant after Avalos-Chanon was found entangled in a mechanical blender that regulates the fat content of ground meat.
Another worker hit the emergency stop button, but it was way too late for Avalos Chanon. The poor guy was pronounced dead at the scene, but his body could not be removed from the machine until it was dismantled the following day.
Dr. Cliff Young, a deputy state medical examiner, said Avalos-Chanon died from “blunt-force injuries and chopping wounds.”
Interstate Meat was cited in October after inspectors found machinery in the meat-grounding room were not properly locked down during cleaning, and could result in “unexpected start-up of the machine.” But OSHA says it’s too early to tell if that’s connected to Avalos-Chanon’s death.
“It’s way too early to say,” said Oregon OSHA spokeswoman, Melanie Mesaros. “We’re just starting our investigation, which could take six months.”
Darrin Hoy, president of Interstate Meat Distributors, said company officials are cooperating fully with investigators, but Avalos-Chanon’s death was “extremely unfortunate” and difficult to discuss. Plant operations were not delayed, and they were back up and running on Monday.