Man Baked Alive in an Oven
By The Prophet of Life
Imagine yourself performing maintenance work on a 35 foot long industrial pressure cooking oven. Suddenly you hear a sloshing sound. You look up and see a lot of slimy tuna falling down upon you. You take a deep breath. Before you can say anything you are covered in tuna which quickly fills to the top of the oven. You try and swim to the top but lose heart when the oven door closes and it is turned on.
This actually happened 62 year old Jose Melena at the Bumble Bee Tuna Processing plant in Santa Fe Springs California. His baked body was found two hours later after the oven reached a temperature of 270 degrees Fahrenheit.
A co-worker thought Melena was on a bathroom break when he filled the oven with tuna and turned it on. An hour and a half later a supervisor realized that Melena was nowhere to be found he conducted a search of the plant and the parking lot but could not find him.
After a two and one half year trial Bumble Bee plead guilty of negligence. They agreed that their personnel didn’t follow Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA) requirements for a lockout tag out safety protocols. They have been ordered to pay 6 million dollars. 1.5 million dollars will go to Melena’s family for the loss of their breadwinner. They will spend another 3 million replacing their tuna ovens. They will pay $750,000 to OSHA to help with future enforcement and another $750,000 in fines and legal bills. Bumble Bee was also found guilty of not implementing and / or maintaining an effective safety program.
The plant’s safety manager plead guilty to a felony of willfully violating safety regulations. He was sentenced to three years of probation and given 30 days of community labor. He must also take safety classes on lockout tag out and confined spaces and pay $19,000 in fines and penalty assessments. If he complies with the terms of his plea within 18 months, his conviction may be reduced to a misdemeanor count.
Bumble Bee’s Director of Operations for the plant agreed to perform over 300 hours of community service and pay over $11,000 in fines and penalties. He too must take safety classes in Lockout Tag out protocols. If he complies within 18 months he can plead guilty to a misdemeanor at time of sentencing. Bumble Bee and the two executives must make public statements admitting their guilt in Melena’s death.
Copyright 2015 Love Force International Publishing Company. All Rights Reserved.