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Workplace accidents: High-voltage electricity kills tree trimmer

Employees of landscaping companies in California often put their lives on the line. Not only do tree trimmers work at dangerous heights, but they are also exposed to the hazards posed by equipment such as chainsaws, wood chippers and other machines. Employers must prevent workplace accidents by protecting the health and safety of employees, and an essential part of that responsibility is providing adequate safety training.

The California Division of Occupational Safety and Health will likely launch an investigation into the recent death of a tree trimmer. According to an incident report, an emergency call was received by the San Jose Fire Department shortly after 1:30 p.m. on a recent Monday. Emergency workers and firefighters arrived at the scene to find a landscaper that had been electrocuted.

Reportedly, the man was using a chainsaw, and he suffered a fatal electrical shock when he made contact with overhead power lines. Only after the arrival of PG&E crews to de-energize the power to the area could the worker be retrieved. The safe procedure would have been to inform the utility provider of the intention to work near high-voltage power lines, and arrange for electricity to be shut off during such activities.

Losing loved ones in workplace accidents can devastate any California family. Along with the unanticipated end-of-life expenses, surviving family members will likely also have to cope with the sudden loss of income. An experienced workers' compensation attorney can provide the necessary guidance and support throughout the complicated legal and administrative proceedings of the process to claim survivors' benefits to cover those losses.

Source: mercurynews.com, "San Jose: Tree trimmer dead after contacting power lines", Robert Salonga, Feb. 26, 2018

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