A worker at Glanbia Foods Inc. in Gooding, Idaho, was killed instantly early Tuesday morning when he was crushed by machinery.
Merlyn Monson, 51, of Wendell, Idaho, was trying to fix a broken conveyor belt when he was crushed by a hydraulic arm, said Gooding County Sheriff Shaun Gough.
“There was a breakdown and he was fixing a piece of equipment,” Gough said.
“Monson apparently triggered an electric eye as he reached over the belt, and the electric eye then signaled the hydraulic arm, which picks up large barrels on the belt. When the arm came down, it crushed Monson.
Monson died instantly, Gough said.
It was the first such accident at the company, he said.
The plant processes more than 5 million pounds of milk each day into 500-pound barrels of cheese that are sold as an ingredient in producing processed cheese slices.
Glanbia plans to open a cheese-processing plant — Southwest Cheese — on the Roosevelt-Curry County line in about a year.