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Quick thinking and black pudding save butcher’s life

Caution, warning, business, sign

No matter how tough your day may turn out to be, it couldn’t be as bad as this butcher's experience when he was forced to use a frozen delicacy to bash his way to safety.

British butcher Chris McCabe reportedly became locked in the walk-in freezer of his shop in south-west England after a gust of wind blew the door shut.

“At that point, I thought all I have to do is push this button on the door and open it,” he said in a video posted by ABC News.


However, the button was frozen, and kicking the door repeatedly failed to budge it.

“So I looked around and thought, ‘How can I break the ice on this button?’” Mr McCabe said.

“First of all, I picked up a rabbit, and that was no good; and then a box of [small stewing] bones, they’re no good… and then I suddenly saw a stick of black pudding, the last one. I picked up this black pudding, which was solid… and I gave [the door] two or three bangs to break the ice and the door opened.”

While butchers are known to be in a hazardous workplace, thanks to the large saws and blades used to cut meat and bones, it is probably not the first time someone has become locked in a commercial freezer – and unlikely to be the last.

My Business contacted Safe Work Australia to see whether similar cases have happened here in Australia, and found that cooling plants are a common cause of workplace accidents.

Between the financial years 2013 and 2016, there were 155 serious workplace compensation claims arising from accidents directly involving refrigeration plants (cool rooms, fridges, air conditioning, freezers and cryogenic equipment).



Over the same period, some 415 serious claims were made by workers identified as butchers and small good makers.

A spokesperson for Safe Work Australia said serious claims were those where the injury or illness resulted in the worker needing at least one week off work to recover.

Meanwhile, a study by finder.com.au has compiled a list of the most dangerous workplaces in 2017.

Adam Zuchetti

Adam Zuchetti

Adam Zuchetti is the editor of My Business, and has steered the publication’s editorial direction since early 2016. 

The two-time Publish Awards finalist has an extensive journalistic career across business, property and finance, including a four-year stint in the UK. Email Adam at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Quick thinking and black pudding save butcher’s life
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