Mars Wrigley fined after workers fall into tank of chocolate

OSHA cracks down on the sweets producer

Mars Wrigley fined after workers fall into tank of chocolate

Mars Wrigley will be dishing out more than just tasty chocolate favorites like M&M’s and Snickers following an order from the US Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).

The confection producer in Elizabethtown, PA has been fined $14,502.00 following an incident that left two workers stuck in a tank half-filled with chocolate. The workers were contractors under the employ of I.K. Stoltzfus Service Corp.

The incident happened on June 8, 2022, though it was not clear whether and how the workers were injured.

OSHA, however, labeled the incident as “serious”.

More than two dozen rescuers responded and had to cut into the bottom of the tank to get the two workers out. One worker was transported to hospital by helicopter and the other by a land vehicle, according to a CNN report.

“The employer did not furnish employment and a place of employment which were free from recognized hazards that were causing or likely to cause death or serious physical harm to employees,” OSHA said.

An employee participated in the control of hazardous energy for the Dove chocolate batching 20 micron tank, OSHA explained. However, the employer did not ensure that the employee had the knowledge of the type and magnitude of the energy for the task.

“The host employer did not provide the outside employer with the correct energy control procedure or work authorization permit that included verification of flowable material isolation given the permitted entry, on or about June 9, 2022.”

OSHA requires that the certification include a statement that abatement is complete, the date and method of abatement. It must also state that the employees and their representatives were informed of the abatement.

Recently, OSHA started requiring employers to post Form 300A in the workplace, which will detail a summary of work-related injuries and illnesses from the previous year.

A new law – now in effect – states that any time Cal/OSHA issues a citation or order that is to be posted in the workplace, the employer must post the notice in English, as well as the top seven non-English languages used by limited-English-proficient adults in California, as determined by the most recent U.S. Census Bureau American Community Survey, plus Punjabi (if not already included in the top seven).

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