Mars fined after two workers almost drown in vat of chocolate
A factory that produces Mars bars and M&Ms has been fined £12,000 after two workers fell into a vat of chocolate.
Federal workplace safety authorities sanctioned the confectionary premises in the central Pennsylvania borough of Elizabethtown, USA, after the dangerous incident.
Mars Wrigley were held responsible by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, who ruled that the workers were not authorised to work on the tanks and had not received training on the correct safety procedures for operating equipment.
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According to officials, the workers were employed by an outside contracting business and were carrying out maintenance work when they fell into the chocolate tank that was partially filled.
Members of the emergency services were then required to create a hole at the base of the tank to free the pair who were both taken to hospitals, including one by helicopter.
A spokesman for Mars Wrigley told media outlets that the safety of the company's employees and outside contractors "is a top priority for our business".
The representative went on to add: "As always, we appreciate OSHA’s collaborative approach to working with us to conduct the after-action review."
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Commenting on the incident at the time it happened last June, Brad Wolfe, communications supervisor for Lancaster County 911 dispatch, told CNN: "Fire crews eliminated pulling them straight out of the tank. They had to cut a hole in the side of the tank to get them out."
The dramatic incident caused much merriment on social media last summer, with plenty of references to Willy Wonka, while someone even posted a picture of Augustus Gloop, who fell into the Chocolate Room’s Chocolate River.
In the much-loved, famous Roald Dahl story the infamous character is sucked through a pipe to the factory's Fudge Room, where his parents have to retrieve him from the mixing machine.
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