Fines Follow Workers’ Fall into Chocolate Vat

Chocolate Vat
Mars Wrigley Factory | Image by RogerMechan/Shutterstock

Mars Wrigley, an industry leader in chocolate, faces a hefty fine following an incident last summer involving workers at one of its factories.

In June 2022, two maintenance workers fell into a vat of chocolate that had been filled to about waist-high. The incident occurred at a factory in Elizabethtown, Pennsylvania. Both workers had to be taken to the hospital following the accident, one in a helicopter and one in an ambulance.

Although the circumstances leading to their fall into the vat are unknown, they were rescued by emergency responders who cut a hole into the giant container’s side.

As Brad Wolfe, communications supervisor for Lancaster County 911 dispatch, told CNN, the decision to extract them in this way was made after responders had “eliminated pulling them straight out of a tank.”

Immediately following the incident, Mars Wrigley made a statement to USA TODAY saying, “We can confirm both people have been taken offsite for further evaluation. We’re extremely grateful for the quick work of the first responders.”

However, a subsequent investigation of the incident has since led to the chocolate manufacturer being fined over $14,500 by federal workplace safety authorities.

According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), their investigators allegedly determined that the workers who fell in the vat were not direct employees of Mars Wrigley and had not received the safety training required to work on the vat equipment.

In response to the fine, a representative for Mars Wrigley told reporters last week that “a top priority” for their company is the safety of workers and outside contractors.

The representative said, per USA TODAY, “As always, we appreciate OSHA’s collaborative approach to working with us to conduct the after-action review.”

Texas has one Mars Wrigley location, a Mars Wrigley confectionary in Waco.

All in all, the fine represents a very small dent in Mars Wrigley’s profits.

Last June, Fortune reported that Mars Wrigley made $45 billion in sales in 2021, making its revenue larger than that of Coca-Cola, which made $38.7 billion in 2021. Additionally, the company more than doubled in employee numbers from 2014 to 2021, going from 60,000 employees to 140,000.

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1 Comment

  1. Wrath

    The Smothers Brothers comes to mind???😂


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