Man killed in Hanover Foods accident was not a company employee, authorities say

Anthony Maenza
York Dispatch

The 59-year-old man who died after falling into a bean hopper at Hanover Foods on Tuesday did not work for the company, authorities say.

Officials from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration are still investigating the incident, spokesperson Leni Fortson said Wednesday, adding that the man who died actually worked for a temporary employment agency and not Hanover Foods itself. Fortson could not provide the name of that temporary agency Wednesday.

The man, whose name has not yet been released, was found by fellow employees at the Penn Township facility at about 2:40 a.m. Tuesday after he fell into the piece of equipment, according to the York County Coroner’s Office.

Authorities do not know how long he had been in the hopper, the coroner's office reported. 

Hanover Foods' Factory Outlet Store in Hanover Tuesday, July 6, 2021. Bill Kalina photo

According to the coroner's report, the man was awake, standing up and attempting to walk after being removed from the machinery. He passed out soon after, however, and did not respond to emergency first aid measures. He was pronounced dead at 3:52 a.m. by coroner's office staff. 

“We’re still in the process of determining the task he was performing,” Fortson said. “It’s part of the investigation.” 

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In a written statement, Hanover Foods said it is cooperating with OSHA. 

“Hanover Foods wants to extend its deepest sympathy to the family and friends of the temporary worker that passed away early yesterday morning at its Hanover Canning Facility,” the company statement read.

Fortson said OSHA has six months to complete its investigation. 

Hanover Foods' York County plant has been fined by OSHA for violations twice in the last five years. 

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According to OSHA records, the Hanover Foods plant was fined over $12,000 this April for an unspecified serious violation. That issue was corrected by May and the fine lowered to $9,300. More specific information wasn't available Wednesday.

In 2019, Hanover Foods York County facility was fined just over $7,900 for an incident that occurred in December 2018. According to OSHA records, gas leaked from a forklift's liquid propane tank that an employee was changing.

"The employee sustained frostbite injuries to his gloved fingers, which required amputation," the report read. "The employee was hospitalized.”