OSHA Issues Fine Over Workers Falling Into Chocolate

Mars Wrigley receives citation categorized as serious
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 11, 2022 7:30 AM CDT
Updated Feb 12, 2023 11:55 AM CST
2 Workers Rescued From Chocolate Vat at Mars Plant
Stock photo.   (Getty Images/peterschreiber.media)
UPDATE Feb 12, 2023 11:55 AM CST

The Mars Wrigley Confectionary in Pennsylvania has been fined over an accident in which two workers fell into a tank of chocolate. The Occupational Health and Safety Administration issued a serious citation and a penalty of more than $14,000, KHTM reports. The company didn't ensure that the two contract workers had the required knowledge before assigning them to clean the tank in June 2022, the citation says.

Jun 11, 2022 7:30 AM CDT

It's a story out of Pennsylvania that Today describes as "something straight out of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory." The local fire department received quite an unusual call on Thursday, when it was informed that two maintenance workers at the Mars Wrigley plant in Elizabethtown, known for making M&Ms and other sweet treats, had fallen into a vat of chocolate and couldn't get out. According to the Lancaster County 911 dispatch, the chocolate was said to have been about waist-deep, reports PennLive.com.

The dispatch notes that the employees fell into the vat shortly before 2pm local time. Fire crews tried to pull the workers out of the tank but couldn't, so instead, they had to "cut a hole in the side of the tank to get them out," dispatch communications supervisor Brad Wolfe tells CNN, adding that it wasn't yet clear how the workers fell into the vat. WHTM reports that the first employee was freed at around 3:10pm, and the second 15 minutes later.

Both were taken to area hospitals, likely as a precaution, as Wolfe tells CNN that no injuries had been reported. A Mars Wrigley spokesperson said the company was "extremely grateful for the quick work of the first responders," per WHTM. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration is investigating the incident. (Read more chocolate stories.)

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