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Workplace accidents: Forklift risks underscored by worker's death

Business owners in California are responsible for the health and safety of their employees. Safety training must be provided to all workers to ensure the prevention of workplace accidents. Furthermore, those who are tasked with operating dangerous equipment such as forklifts must be properly qualified to do so, and even then, they must comply with safety regulations.

The dangers posed by forklifts are not always recognized -- often with devastating consequences. A tragic incident involving a forklift recently claimed the life of a 35-year-old employee at a construction site in Lafayette. The California Division of Occupational Safety and Health is investigating the accident but provided little information about the circumstances that lead to the worker's death.

However, Cal/OSHA did reveal that the man was operating a forklift while loading and unloading paving stones at the premises of a landscaping concern near Stanley Park. Under the circumstances yet to be determined, the forklift operator apparently became trapped by or in something. Reportedly, he did not survive long enough to be treated at a medical facility.

Whenever lives are lost in workplace accidents, the surviving family members are entitled to file death benefits claims with the California workers' compensation insurance program. The process may be overwhelming at such a difficult time. For that reason, some families choose to leave it to an experienced workers' compensation attorney to advocate on their behalf. A lawyer can handle the administrative and legal proceedings to secure benefits that will cover the costs of funerals and burials along with a percentage of lost income.

Source: pleasantonweekly.com, "Livermore man killed while operating forklift at worksite", Aug.15, 2017

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