Food / Drink

Mars Fined After Two Workers Almost Drown In Tank Of Chocolate

A Mars Wrigley factory received a fine following an incident in which two workers fell into a tank of chocolate and came close to drowning.

In June of last year, two workers, who were hired by an external contracting firm, fell into a chocolate tank that was partially filled with chocolate while carrying out maintenance work at the M&M/Mars factory in Elizabethtown, Pennsylvania, USA.


Officials reported that emergency responders were able to rescue the two individuals by cutting a hole in the bottom of the tank, and both were transported to hospitals, with one being airlifted.

According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), the workers were not authorized to work inside the tanks and had not received adequate training on the appropriate safety procedures for handling the equipment.


The mixing tank was utilized to blend ingredients for Dove chocolate, which is marketed under the brand name Galaxy in the United Kingdom.

The factory was fined over $14,500 (£12,000) by OSHA.


The regulatory report stated that "The employer failed to provide employment and a workplace environment that were free from known hazards that could result in death or severe physical harm to employees" if you want to understand the details of the incident.

"An employee participated in the control of hazardous energy for the Dove chocolate batching 20 micron tank. The employer did not ensure that the employee had the knowledge of the type and magnitude of the energy for the task."


"Employees of an outside employer, I.K. Stoltzfus Service Corp., cleaned tanks, including the Dove chocolate batching 20 micron tank, owned by the onsite/host employer, Mars Wrigley."

"The host employer did not provide the outside employer with the correct energy control procedure or work authorisation permit that included verification of flowable material isolation given the permitted entry."


A company spokesperson said: "The safety of our associates and outside contractors is a top priority for our business."

"As always, we appreciate the OSHA's collaborative approach to working with us to conduct the after-action review."