Investigators of the California Division of Occupational Safety and Health are looking into the death of a tree trimmer in Palo Alto. Although the agency investigates all fatal workplace accidents, those in which the deceased employees worked alone are more challenging because no other workers were around to witness the incidents. Investigators will have to piece together the evidence found on the scene and statements from residents who might have witnessed the fall.
A spokesperson for the local fire department says the incident happened at about 12:40 p.m. on a recent Saturday. An incident report indicates that the 36-year-old worker was using a chainsaw to trim the branches of a tree, estimated to be approximately 30 feet tall. First responders arrived at the scene to find the tree trimmer laying next to the tree on the ground below.
Reportedly, a call for a rescue crew was canceled when fire department workers determined that the worker had died at the scene. The incident occurred at a housing complex of the Stanford University. No mention was made about the presence or absence of a fall harness that could have arrested a fall.
Regardless of the outcome of Cal/OSHA investigations after fatal workplace accidents, surviving families are typically entitled to pursue claims for financial relief. Death benefits can be claimed to cover the expenses related to funerals and burials, and wage replacement packages are provided to assist families with day-to-day living expenses. Surviving family members can utilize the services of an experienced California workers' compensation attorney to help with the navigation of the claims process.
Source: paloaltoonline.com, "Tree trimmer dies in accident at Stanford housing complex", May 21, 2018