BUMBLE Bee Foods and two employees were charged with violating safety regulations on Monday, following the death of a California worker who suffered the unimaginably brutal death of being cooked in an industrial oven with several tons of tuna.
According to AP, the company, its plant operations director and its former safety manager were each charged with three counts of violating Occupational Safety & Health Administration rules causing death.
Prosecutors said that Jose Melena was cleaning a 35-foot-long oven at the company's plant in Santa Fe in 2012, when oblivious co-workers loaded it with 12,000 pounds of tuna and turned it on.
During the two hour cooking time, temperatures in the oven reach 270 degrees.
The state's occupational safety agency previously cited the San Diego-based company with violations for failing to properly assess the danger to employees working in large ovens.
Statement by Bumble Bee Foods
We remain devastated by the loss of our colleague Jose Melena in the tragic accident that occurred at our Santa Fe Springs plant in October 2012. Bumble Bee cooperated fully with Cal-OSHA in its post-accident investigation, which found no willful violations related to the accident.
We disagree with and are disappointed by the charges filed by the Los Angeles District Attorney's Office. We are currently exploring all options with respect to those charges and will proceed in the manner that best serves the needs of the Melena family, our employees and the Company.
Safety has always been and will always be a top priority at our facilities. Since the 2012 accident, we have made our safety program even more robust, and we remain steadfast in our commitment to ensuring the safest possible workplace for our employees.
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