OSHA fines Pennsylvania factory after 2 workers fell into chocolate tank in 2022

A central Pennsylvania confectionary company was fined more than $14,500 after two workers fell into a vat of chocolate at an M&M/Mars factory last June, federal safety officials said.

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In a report released on Friday, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration fined Mars Wrigley $14,502 and cited the company for failing to properly train or authorize externally contracted workers to work in the tanks at the M&M/Mars factory in Elizabethtown.

The workers were completing maintenance work on the partially filled chocolate vat at the Mars facility when they fell into it at about 1:51 p.m. on June 8, 2022, the Patriot-News reported.

According to OSHA, the workers, who were employed by I.K. Stoltzfus Service, were cleaning a Dove chocolate batching 20-micron tank owned by Mars Wrigley.

Dispatchers noted that the workers were “not floating around” in the chocolate after they fell, but that officers had trouble getting them out, Lancaster Online reported.

First responders were called to help cut a hole into the tank to free the two workers at about 4:15 p.m., WHTM-TV reported.

The two workers were taken to an area hospital, according to WHP-TV. They were not seriously injured, according to the Patriot-News.

OSHA termed the citation “serious” and originally fined Mars Wrigley $11,396 on Dec. 29, the agency’s report stated. That figure was revised to $14,502 on Friday.

“The safety of our associates and outside contractors is a top priority for our business,” Mars Wrigley said in a statement obtained by WHTM. “As always, we appreciate OSHA’s collaborative approach to working with us to conduct the after-action review.”

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