Mars fined £12,000 after workers at M&M factory fall into vat of chocolate

13 February 2023, 14:42 | Updated: 13 February 2023, 14:52

Vat of melted chocolate (stock) and Mars Wrigley factory in Pennsylvania
The inadequately trained cleaners fell waist-deep in the hot vat of gooey chocolate. Picture: Alamy Stock/Google Maps

By James Hockaday

The maker of Snickers, M&Ms and Twix has been fined after two workers fell waist-high into a vat of melted chocolate.

Emergency services were rushed to the Mars Wrigley factory and found the pair trapped in the pair stuck in the tank.

Firefighters had to cut a hole in the vat to set them free, and they were both taken to hospital - one by air ambulance - although the extent of their injuries is unclear.

Milk chocolate is generally melted at around 45C before tempering, which is slightly higher than the recommended temperature for a bath, but unlikely to cause scalding unless submerged for a long time.

Following the incident in Elizabethtown, Pennsylvania, Mars Wrigley was issued a fine of $14,502 (£12,000) by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).

The regulator said the manufacturer had committed a “serious” breach of workplace health and safety laws.

Read more: Family of Brianna Ghey pay tribute to 'strong and fearless' daughter as heartbreaking final TikToks emerge

Mars Wrigley factory in Pennsylvania
Mars Wrigley was fined £12,000 over the incident in June following an investigation. Picture: Google Maps

Read more: Are they out there? US general refuses to rule out aliens after three bizarre UFOs shot down over North America

It said the company had failed to ensure the workers, who were contractors from another firm, were adequately trained to clean the partially filled tank.

The cleaners who fell into the tank on June 7 were given protective clothing to protect them from the hot gooey chocolate.

A Mars Wrigley spokesperson said last week that the safety of its staff and outside contractors “is a top priority for our business” and welcomed the outcome of OSHA’s investigation.

“As always, we appreciate OSHA’s collaborative approach to working with us to conduct the after-action review,” they added.