Friday, July 19, 2013

Industrial Accident Del Monte

I worked at Del Monte while I was putting myself through school, and on a Mission.  It is one of those jobs an able bodied American won't do unless he wants some money, and I needed money.  I had several different jobs there.  I first worked at the Del Monte in Franklin, graveyard shift, on a belt picked the bad stuff out of the beans, sticks, bad beans, rock etc.  I worked along side my mom and brother, Weldon.
I moved up to Del Monte Smithfield.  My first job there was a cleaning job, with a steam and water powered house.  I would spray this water under the stairs where the ladies were standing.  I would go from one end of the processing plant to the other.  At this time we were processing peas.  I moved up to a husker during the corn season.  Finally I moved up to a machine that pushed the cans into line to be filled with whatever.
While working there (Probably 1976,) there was a guy on a mini-bulldozer, loading carrots to be processed.  They were delivered to Del Monte in a refrigerated car. 
He would take the bulldozer into the car and scoop up a load of carrots, he would then take them to the processing bin.  At the time the were filling #10 cans of peas and carrots--like for school lunches. His bulldozer looked something like the one in the picture, but it didn't have a cage around it.  I was told what happened.  The operator leaned out while the shovel was coming down.  It caught him and squished him.  He stopped breathing. The foreman tried to revive him but was not successful.  The tractor sat silent for a day while there was an investigation.  Before it was operated again a cage when been constructed around the driver.

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