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Workplace injuries: Aggravated swarm of bees cause worker's death

According to the safety regulations prescribed by the California division of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, employers must evaluate any worksite for safety hazards prior to commencement of work activities. Overlooking this important stipulation can have detrimental consequences as some hazards that may cause workplace injuries may not be visible. Cal-OSHA is investigating the death of a worker who was attacked by a swarm of bees.

The incident occurred on a recent Monday morning at a work site in Riverside. A crew of workers was reportedly preparing an area for the building of a parking lot when the blade of the grader ran over a sprinkler box that was underground. The crew was unaware of a beehive that was housed in the sprinkler box, and the aggravated swarm of bees attacked three of the workers.

Two of the workers only required on-scene treatment for injuries that were reported to be minor to moderate. However, the third worker was severely allergic to bee stings, and, although he was rushed to the hospital, he died within an hour. A Cal-OSHA investigation was launched to determine whether any safety violations were committed.

Most California workers are eligible to claim workers' compensation benefits, regardless of who was responsible for workplace injuries or deaths. The family of the worker who died so tragically in this incident may pursue compensation by claiming death benefits afforded to the covered dependents of deceased workers. In addition to compensation for a funeral and burial, the benefits typically include a financial package that is based on the latest level of income of the deceased loved one.

Source: desertsun.com, "Douglas Queen ID'd in fatal Riverside bee swarm attack", Aug. 4, 2015

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