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Cal/OSHA: Insect hazards known for causing workplace accidents

Losing loved ones due to fatal on-the-job injuries will always be traumatic experiences, regardless of citations and penalties issued to negligent employers. Following a recent report of citations totaling over $40,000 that were issued to a California date producing company, the sister of the deceased worker said that, although it will not bring her brother back, it might prevent similar tragedies. Safety authorities maintain that most fatal workplace accidents are preventable by complying with safety regulations.

The penalties followed an investigation by the California Division of Occupational Safety and Health into the death of a 49-year-old worker following an attack by a swarm of bees. Reportedly, the bees were disturbed when the man sprayed water on the fruit of the date palm, which was close to the beehive. After multiple, repeated bee stings, the worker suffered anaphylactic shock. He died before he could receive medical treatment.

According to Cal/OSHA, the dangers posed by bees and other harmful insects are known hazards to which tree workers are exposed. It is the responsibility of employers to assess workplaces, identify potential hazards and then provide the necessary protective equipment. Furthermore, employees must receive adequate training to teach them how to avoid injuries.

California families in similar positions after losing loved ones in workplace accidents may seek financial assistance by filing death benefits claims with the workers' compensation insurance system. It may provide relief from the unanticipated financial burden of end-of-life expenses and lost income. Many families choose to utilize the skills of an experienced workers' compensation attorney to navigate the claims for them.

Source: kesq.com, "Thermal date company cited by Cal/OSHA for worker's bee sting death", Jesus Reyes, Jan. 5, 2018

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