Employees of landscaping companies face numerous risks, and complacency can put lives on the line. Tree trimmers work with hazardous equipment in dangerous conditions that lead to frequent workplace accidents. Some workers tend to become careless in their observations of potential risks. The circumstances that led to the recent death of a tree trimmer in California are currently under investigation.
An incident report indicates that emergency workers were called to a South San Jose address on a recent Monday afternoon. They arrived to find a 33-year-old worker in a harness at the height of approximately 25 feet. Reportedly, he had been using a chainsaw to cut the tree when he accidentally made contact with overhead power lines. The high-voltage electrical shock caused the worker's death.
Firefighters say they had to wait for PG&E to de-energize the power line. However, to get rid of any residual energy, utility workers first had to ground the lines before it would be safe for rescuers to approach. For this reason, the deceased worker's body could only be recovered after about two hours.
The California Division of Occupational Safety and Health provides guidelines to prevent such workplace accidents, and investigators will determine whether safety regulations were violated. In the meantime, the surviving family members may pursue financial relief through the workers' compensation insurance system. An experienced attorney can assist with the complicated process of claiming death benefits. This may help with the costs of a funeral and burial along with a percentage of lost wages that will be based on the deceased worker's average weekly wage.
Source: mercurynews.com, "San Jose: Electrocuted tree trimmer identified as Gilroy man", Robert Salonga, Feb. 28, 2018