HALL COUNTY, Neb. — Esteban Mantilla, a 48-year-old employee at a JBS beef plant in Grand Island, tragically died Jan. 14 in an industrial accident.
According to local officials, Mantilla died after a machine struck his head at the JBS beef plant. Local authorities and emergency personnel responded to the accident at about 3:30 p.m.
Mantilla was transported to a local hospital, where he was pronounced dead.
Local officials and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration are actively investigating the incident.
Commentary on Commercial Accidents
I am saddened to learn of Mr. Esteban Mantilla’s tragic death at the JBS beef facility in Grand Island, Neb. Commerical accidents are difficult and cause great pain. My heart goes out to his family and friends, whom I hope can find the strength to endure this immensely difficult time.
Despite improvements in workplace safety during the last several decades, thousands of fatal workplace accidents continue to happen across the U.S. each year. During the decades I’ve spent practicing in this area of the law, I have seen hundreds of instances where hardworking employees lost their lives in accidents that could have been prevented.
In this case, authorities reported that Mr. Mantilla died after a machine struck him, but they did not specify what kind of machine he was struck by or whether he was operating it when the accident occurred. The sparse information released leaves me with many questions. Was Mr. Mantilla trained adequately for the task he was performing when the accident happened? If not him, was the person operating the machine that struck him adequately trained to do so safely? Was the beef facility following all safety procedures when the accident occurred?
OSHA has six months to complete its investigation into the accident, which should answer these questions.
Disclaimer: All the information in this post is from third-party sources or constitutes my opinion. If you are not comfortable with this post or would like further information, please reach out to my firm to speak with me.