Cal-OSHA has charged a Hanford meat-packing plant with serious safety violations in the death of a worker earlier this year, The Sentinel learned this week.

The findings were the result of an investigation the watchdog agency conducted at Central Valley Meat Co. after Leopoldo Gutierrez, a sanitation worker, was killed in a meat blender accident in February. Gutierrez’s neck was broken when another employee, thinking the machine was empty, turned it on while Gutierrez was cleaning it.

Cal-OSHA found the company didn’t ensure that the machine was de-electrified and locked out so workers couldn’t accidentally flip the switch on. The agency hit Central Valley Meat Co. with $49,920 in fines.

The company is appealing the citations and the fines. President Brian Coelho could not be reached for comment.

The Cal-OSHA investigation determined Central Valley Meat’s safety violations contributed to the death of Gutierrez, a 72-year-old longtime worker at the facility, which slaughters 550-650 cattle per day.

Read more about this story at the Hanford Sentinel's site.
Source: Hanford (Calif.) Sentinel