It was an accident that seems more like it belongs on “Bones.” A man in Brooklyn died in a tortilla mixing machine. The 22-year old was pronounced dead on the scene.
Man dies in tortilla mixing machine
In Brooklyn, N.Y., a young man died while at work at the Tortilleria Chinantla in Williamsburg. Police were called at 2:30 a.m. Juan Baten apparently dropped something into the mixing machine. He bent over to retrieve the item out of the waist-high mixing machine. The machine, however, immediately sucked him in and killed him. Police have said that they expect there was no criminal intent or activity. This particular factory has not had any history of industrial accidents or worker complaints in the past.
Focusing on workers’ rights
The Tortilleria Chinantla has not had any record of safety violations in the past. Juan’s co-workers apparently tried to pull him out of the machine, but were not able to. Employment activist groups have released several statements about this tortilla mixing machine accident. Focus On The Food Chain is a workers’ rights campaign that has taken the opportunity to try to start a discussion of food processing and food distribution warehouses that supply New York City. They are investigating the tortilla mixing machine incident for any wrongdoing by the company.
The problem with 24-hour workdays
The industrial accident at the tortilla factory is just one more example of a trend in industrial accidents. Much like Chernobyl, Three Mile Island and even vehicle accident statistics, late night is a dangerous time to operate heavy equipment and machinery. The human brain is naturally more sleepy at night, even with a lot of sleep during the day. The 24-hour nature of many manufacturing processes puts a lot of workers at risk of late-night accidents.