Published: 23/07/2012

Lax regulations, loose enforcement and employer resistance to union health and safety committees inflict a ghastly toll of illness, injury and death on the job. The grisly death of a contract worker at a US Nestlé plant provides further evidence that agency workers face even greater risks due to their precarious employment status.

Last month, a contract worker at the Taunton, Massachusets Tribe Mediterranean Foods factory was crushed to death when he was pulled into the machine he was cleaning and sterilizing. The worker had received no training in shutting off the machine and its power supply before performing any work. Other contract workers performing the cleaning had likewise received no training.

Tribe Foods is a subsidiary of the Israeli-based Osem Group, majority-owned by Nestlé, with operations in Israel, Europe and the US. The worker, Collazo Torres, was employed by a temp agency, Monroe Staffing.