62-Year Old Bumblebee Tuna Worker Roasted in Oven with Six Tons of Canned Tuna

RISK Alert   Report #710 –  May 27, 2015

The Los Angeles District Attorney announced felony charges Monday against
Bumblebee Tuna’s San Diego Plant, alleging that a worker, Jose Melena, entered
a thirty-five foot cylindrical oven that sterilizes cans of tuna.  Melena’s co-workers
closed the door and started the oven.  The oven temperature rose to 270 degrees in
the next two hours, and when the doors were opened, they found the severely burned
remains of Jose Melena.

Bumblebee Tuna

According to District Attorney Jackie Lacey, “We take worker safety very seriously”, according to a published statement. “Our goal is to enhance the criminal prosecution of workplace safety violations. Although the Bumble Bee investigation began in 2012, this case represents our commitment to protecting workers from illegal – and, potentially, deadly – on-the-job practices.”

Two plant employees, former Safety Manager Saul Florez, 42, of Whittier, California, and the current Director of Plant Operations Angel Rodriguez, 63, of Riverside, California,  with three felony counts each of an Cal-OSHA (State of California ) violation causing death.

Both men face arraignment on May 27 at the Foltz Criminal Justice Center in downtown Los Angeles.  If convicted, the individuals could serve three years in state prison and a fine of up to $250,000. Bumble Bee faces a maximum fine of $1.5 million.

Lessons Learned

1.   Strong safety controls should be put in place to protect workers in High Risk

2.   Employees should make sure that all employees are aware of the
company’s safety and security rules to prevent incidents like this.


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This entry was posted in accountability, risk assessment, Workplace Violence and tagged , , , , by Caroline Ramsey-Hamilton. Bookmark the permalink.

About Caroline Ramsey-Hamilton

Caroline Ramsey-Hamilton is a leading expert in assessing security risk in both information security and facilities security including security risk assessments, active shooter and security risk assessments for hospitals and healthcare organizations, cybersecurity, nuclear security, and also auditing, analyzing and measuring compliance with all major security standards, like DHS, FEMA 426-428, The Joint Commission, HIPAA Security & Privacy Rules, the HIPAA Omnibus Rule, and OSHA 3148 for Preventing Workplace Violence. And including both C-TPAT and CFATS. She is currently working on a universal set of easy security tools that will make it easy to assess risk in a variety of companies, agencies and business. Her company, Risk & Security LLC, works with more than 500 clients around the world using a program that standardizes site surveys and assessments and makes it easier to compare facilities and measure their level of security. She posts breaking security & risk alerts at www.twitter.com/riskalert. She's also an animal lover and tree hugger, and musician who loves dogs, horses, kitties, house rabbits, parrots, and especially beagles! I support www.brewbeagles.org and other animal rescue organizations and work toward a more peaceful and green world.

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