Workplace accidents: Paving company employee dies on-the-job


A police sergeant in Palo Alto was flagged down by a construction worker on a recent Thursday shortly before 9 a.m. The construction worker alerted the officer to an emergency at a work site in a nearby parking lot of a church. As with other fatal workplace accidents, the California Division of Occupational Safety and Health has launched an investigation into this incident.

Safety authorities report that the police officer rushed to the scene and assessed the situation. He then called two more officers who were in the vicinity. However, help came too late, and the construction worker succumbed to injuries of unknown nature. Cal/OSHA inspectors will determine the cause of the fatality and whether safety violations played a role.

Reportedly, the worker was an employee of a paving company that was contracted by the church to pave the parking lot. Once Cal/OSHA has assessed the information gathered by compliance inspectors, the agency will issue citations and propose penalties if necessary. These will be based upon the severity of safety violations.

However, regardless of Cal/OSHA findings, the surviving family members of any deceased victims of fatal workplace accidents can pursue financial relief through the California worker’s compensation insurance system. This is a no-fault program, which pays benefits regardless of who was at fault. The death benefits that families can claim typically cover the costs of a funeral and burial along with a financial package to make up for lost wages. Legal counsel is available to assist with the navigation of the administrative and legal proceedings of benefits claims.

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