Mars Wrigley factory fined after two workers fall into chocolate vat

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A worker seen near a tank at the Mars Wrigley factory in Elizabethtown, PennsylvaniaImage source, Getty Images
Image caption,
A worker seen near a tank at the Mars Wrigley factory in Elizabethtown, Pennsylvania

US workplace safety regulators have fined a Pennsylvania factory after two workers fell into a vat of chocolate and had to be rescued.

The Mars Wrigley factory in the city of Elizabethtown was fined more than $14,500 (£12,000) by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration.

The workers were contractors who did not work full-time for the factory.

The incident happened in June 2022. A hole had to be cut into the bottom of the partly-full tank to get them out.

More than two dozen rescuers responded, and one worker was transported to hospital by helicopter, according to local reports.

The regulator's report labelled the incident "serious". It says the workers were hired to clean tanks, and were not provided with proper safety training.

It noted that the workers fell into a batching tank - a tank used to mix ingredients - for Dove chocolate, a brand sold in the US. In the UK and elsewhere, Dove is sold as Galaxy.

A representative for Mars Wrigley welcomed the outcome of the investigation.

"The safety of our associates and outside contractors is a top priority for our business," said the spokesperson.

"As always, we appreciate [the Occupational Safety and Health Administration's] collaborative approach to working with us to conduct the after-action review."

Mars and Wrigley - both American confectioners that are each over a century old - merged in 2008.

In addition to Dove, the company produces several popular sweets such as M&Ms, Snickers and Twix.

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