State Releases Details in Pictsweet Investigation

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We have new

details on the operating conditions at the

PictSweet plant in Bells, as investigators

release their findings after a worker lost his

life on the job.

 
The food

packaging plant has been under the microscope of

federal and state safety inspectors since the

death of John Woods nearly five months ago.

 
TOSHA inspectors

came in two days after the October 16 incident,

and their scrutiny of the packing and processing

lines found four serious violations.

 
However, they

cannot say with certainty that they contributed

to Woods’ death.

 
Belinda Bonds,

Woods’ former girlfriend, says, “A day doesn’t

go by without me thinking about John.”

 
Bonds and Woods,

52, started their relationship about five years

ago, right around the time he started at the

PictSweet plant in Bells.

 
Woods, a

sanitation worker clocked in October 16 and

never got the chance to clock out because,

Bonds, says while he was cleaning a machine, his

clothes got caught in it and pulled him in.

 
Bonds, adds,

“It’s just awful.”

 
It is awful he

died, Bonds, says, and it is awful what TOSHA

found while investigating his death two days

later.

 
According to just

released reports, they found $6,300 worth of

violations.

 
Number one,

employee’s did not have the proper training when

it came to cleaning equipment.

 
Number two, they

found employees not turning machines off before

cleaning, and number three, machines were not

being locked after they were turned off.

 
The fourth

violation was corrected on-site.

 
Steve Hawkins, an

Assistant Administrator with TOSHA, adds, “These

were violations that we determined, alleged

violations, that we determined at the time of

inspection and are not necessarily directly

related to the fatality.”

 
Now, Pictsweet

will not comment on the current violation, but

did provide us paperwork stating Woods’ also

suffered a diabetic episode at the time of the

incident.

 
However, Bonds

says, the only thing she is sure of at this

point is what is in black and white, these

violations.

 
Bonds, adds, “I

hate that it happened to John for all the bad

violations to come out you know.”

 
Pictsweet has

until next Thursday to contest the violations.