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Safety violations can make Illinois workplaces dangerous

The Los Angeles District Attorney's office has filed charges against Bumble Bee Foods and two of its managers regarding the fatality of a 62-year-old employee on Oct. 11, 2012. According to officials, the charges involve the willful violation of safety regulations at the workplace. The company could owe over $1 million dollars while the two accused men could face up to three years in prison and could be made to pay up to $250,000 in fines.

According to reports, an employee of the Santa Fe Springs Bumble Bee Foods plant failed to notice that another employee had been inside of a 35-foot long pressure cooker, performing maintenance. The employee on the outside of the oven proceeded to fill the pressure cooker with about 12,000 tons of tuna for cooking. Once activated, the oven heated up to approximately 270 degrees.

Once the supervisor determined that the employee trapped in the oven was missing, a search of the facility and parking lot was executed in order to find him. Two hours after it had been turned on, the oven was turned back off and opened. The victim's body was discovered at that point, says the California Division of Occupational Safety and Health. The coworker responsible for loading the pressure cooker with tuna claimed to have assumed the missing employee had been in the restroom and did not know he had been inside the oven. The company, based in San Diego, states that disagreement exists regarding the charges filed by the district attorney's office.

Employees have the right to be safe while at the workplace. If a catastrophic injury occurs, the victim may want to consult with an attorney experienced in managing these types of accident claims.

Source: USA Today, "Bumble Bee Foods charged after man cooked with tuna," April 28, 2015

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