Safety and OSHA News

Bizarre accident: Worker cooked to death at soup factory

Do you have workers who clean in confined spaces? Here’s a cautionary tale for them.

A worker at a soup factory in Germany died after getting trapped inside a giant cauldron and cooking to death, according to the newspaper, Bild.

The man had climbed into the cauldron at the Eraso soup factory to clean it.

The cauldron’s lid suddenly closed while the man was still inside. It started to fill with steam as part of the disinfection process.

A doctor confirmed the man had been cooked to death.

Police and workplace safety officials are investigating.

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  • Aïda

    This is a prime example of why you need a minimum of two people when performing work in a confined space.

    I also don’t think I’d eat any soup made by a company named “Eraso”. =;o)

  • Joe

    Did they make that is should look like an “accident”?

    Lids don’t just “close suddenly”, do they???

    hmmm…

  • Aïda

    The victim may not have secured the lid in the open postion well enough, causing it to “close suddenly”. This is another reason you need a minimum of two people working this; the second one needs to verify that the lid was secured in the open position.

  • Larry

    I do not understand how the disinfection steam would start automatically or, why someone would enter the cauldron if the steam was already on???

  • JR

    This sound like a lo/to violation along with a cofined space violation.

  • Joe Sheaves

    Where I work we use the Lockout/Tagout system where any one working on a piece of equipment they lock out all systems with a pad lock which only he/she has the key. When he/she has completed ht work he/she then and only then removes the locks.

  • http://www.dahlelectric.com Chris

    Confined space entry procedures and lockout/tagout…… the guy would still be going home at night.

  • Mark

    Bizarre isn’t sufficent enough of a word to explain this incident. I agree with the few remarks I see. Obviously rigid lock-out procedures as well as confined space entry procedures either don’t exist in Germany or this is a great example of gross negligence.

  • John S.

    Having worked in the European arena and indeed in the British Commonwealth to include Aus and NZ I can assure all on this string there are very stringent LO/TO procedures in industry, moreso than our beloved USA. However as is the norm in ‘older’ estabished industries (and indeed food processing) the equipment is antiquated and generally felt cost prohibitive to modify.
    Speculation rules supreme here but it probably happened just the way it reads. Due dilligence on the part of the company is in my opinion the failure in this case.
    It was likely a dangerous job at best and known to the employees as well. What if, It might, what do I do if… was probably asked all too many times and ignored in lieu of profitibility.
    Does that surprise anybody.

  • Disturbed

    I’ve seen this story on several different safety websites and news agencies and I find the “funny” comments very inappropriate. Stuff about not eating the soup, and others from misc sites are extremely poor judgement and callousness. The fact is a man lost his life – regardless of how “bizarre” the accident, there is no reason to make bad puns or jokes about the situation.

    I feel horrible for this man (what a horrific way to die) and his family. Consider that everything you post can be googled and may be seen my this mans family.

  • Aïda

    Disturbed: You go by the moniker “Disturbed” and you have trouble with other people’s comments? Maybe other sites have callous remarks, but the ones I see above are driving home the point about how necessary it is to follow LO/TO procedures when working in this sort of work environment.

  • Jim jackson

    No soup for you!

  • gary k

    just add carrots and potatoes

  • Diane Awbrey

    Lock Out / Tag Out – I find it hard to believe that even in “Older” established companies that the Cauldren didn’t have its own souce of power where it could at the very least be turned off. I also agree that someone died here and the jokes about this are distasteful.

  • Safety First

    If I am going to jump into a cauldron I will be pulling the plug on that unit to make sure nobody starts it. I will also make sure one person is standing next to me to prevent anyone else from attempting to start it. This is just as bad as the guy who fell into the boiling chocolate story.