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Workplace accidents: Forklift accident kills mushroom farm worker

In any environment in which forklifts are operated, special care must be taken. California company owners must provide adequate safety training to the operators of forklifts. Fatalities in workplace accidents involving forklifts are not uncommon, and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration is currently investigating a tragic accident that claimed the life of a worker in another state.

A report by a local farm workers association spokesperson stated that the incident occurred on a recent Monday evening at the plant of a mushroom producer. Reportedly, workers who witnessed the accident said the 45-year-old operator of the forklift was transporting pallets that were loaded with mushrooms. The load may have been unbalanced because it began to sway, prompting the driver to jump off the machine.

Unfortunately, he could not get out of the way of the falling load in time. The pallets fell onto him, causing fatal injuries. He was rushed to a nearby hospital, but his death was declared upon arrival. Workers at the plant expressed their concern about their safety. The company was cited as recently as December for exposing workers to fall hazards.

Losing loved ones in workplace accidents can be devastating to families -- particularly if the deceased person was the only bread winner of a family. Fortunately, financial relief is available to somewhat ease the financial burden. Death benefits claims may be filed with the California workers' compensation insurance fund for coverage of expenses related to end-of-life arrangements. Furthermore, the program typically awards additional compensation to assist the covered dependents with living expenses for a specified time following their sad loss.

Source: orlandosentinel.com, "Pallets of mushrooms fatally crushed worker, officials say", Caitlin Doornbos, June 7, 2016

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