Two managers working at Bumble Bee Foods face up to three years in prison and a $250,000 fine stemming from a 2012 industrial accident at the Santa Fe Springs plant. On October 11, 2012, a maintenance worker was working in a 35-foot-long oven when it was turned on, leading to his death. The body of Jose Melena, 62, was found two hours later. The worker who filled the oven with six tons of tuna and turned the oven on thought Melena was using the bathroom.
Los Angeles prosecutors filed charges against two managers Monday, April 27th. Plant Operations Director Angel Rodriguez, 63, of Riverside and former Safety Manager Saul Florez, 42, of Whittier, were both charged with three counts of violating OSHA rules resulting in a death. OSHA rules require the implementation of a safety plan, rules for workers entering confined spaces, and specific procedures to prevent equipment from being turned on if someone is working on that equipment. Prosecutors allege that both accused men violated these workplace safety rules willfully.
Bumble Bee Foods faces a $1.5 million fine for the incident.