The California Division of Occupational Safety and Health is investigating an incident that claimed the life of a 54-year-old employee of a recycling company. The woman died earlier this month after working for the company for more than 16 years. The workplace injuries that led to her death were caused when a skip loader struck her.
Reportedly, the worker was directing vehicles of members of the public who came to drop recyclable objects, and also company vehicles — one of which ran over her. The vehicle was a type of tractor with an attached hydraulic bucket in the front. The incident happened at around 4 p.m. on a Saturday earlier this month.
It is unclear whether the employee died at the scene or later at a hospital. Cal/OSHA will investigate the accident to determine whether the fatality occurred due to safety violations, in which case the company would likely be cited and fined. A spokesperson noted that the county sheriff’s department has also launched an investigation into the death of the grandmother, who leaves behind four children, five grandchildren and a husband after 35 years of marriage.
Regardless of the outcome of the investigations launched by Cal/OSHA and the sheriff’s department, the surviving family members of the deceased worker can go ahead and pursue financial assistance through the California workers’ compensation insurance system. The claims process could be daunting, but an experienced workers’ compensation attorney could simplify it. Death benefits paid to surviving family members of workers who suffered fatal workplace injuries typically cover end-of-life expenses and a financial package to make up for lost wages and help with the costs of living in the aftermath of the loved one’s death.