The California Division of Occupational Safety and Health is looking into a fatal on-the-job accident at a Sonoma County vineyard. This is said to be the first life lost to workplace injuries on any of the vineyards owned by Jackson Family Wines. A spokesperson for the company says the deceased worker had been an employee for approximately 25 years.
According to an incident report, the worker's daughter became concerned when her father failed to come home by 8 p.m. She went out looking for him and found him in the vineyard, trapped underneath an overturned ATV. He did not survive. The company says the 62-year-old man worked in the irrigation section of the vineyard and rode an all-terrain vehicle to inspect irrigation lines as part of his duties.
Reportedly, he was wearing a helmet at the time of the accident. Cal/OSHA investigators will work to determine the specific cause of the worker's death. The agency will also review the company's safety standards regarding lone workers. Checking compliance with safety regulations forms part of any Cal/OSHA investigation.
The surviving family members of the deceased worker can start the wheels rolling for filing a claim for insurance benefits, regardless of the outcome of the Cal/OSHA investigation. The California workers' compensation system is a no-fault program that pays benefits for any victims of workplace injuries or the family members of those workers who succumb to their injuries. An experienced workers' compensation attorney can assist with each step along the way to obtain maximum payouts.