A 34-year-old woman who was one of only a few female plumbers working for the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission lost her life in an unusual incident on a recent Wednesday afternoon. The California Division of Occupational Safety and Health has launched an investigation, as it does in all fatal workplace accidents. Sadly, the woman's daughter, who is not even three years old yet, now has to adjust to life without her mother.
Reportedly, the woman and two other city employees were on foot during a task to replace some pipes and repair a leak. They were near a flat-bed tow truck, onto which a car with a broken transmission was being loaded, when the freak accident occurred. A police spokesperson says the vehicle slipped, causing it to roll back and strike the female plumber. Her two colleagues apparently managed to escape injuries.
However, authorities say the worker who was struck suffered life-threatening injuries. She was rushed to a medical facility but succumbed to her injuries later. Reportedly, the tow truck driver and the owner of the car that struck the worker remained at the scene and cooperated with police.
When fatal workplace accidents occur in California, the surviving family members may be eligible for death benefits through the workers' compensation insurance program of the state. These benefits typically cover the costs of a funeral and burial along with a wage replacement package. These benefits are typically based on the average weekly wage of the deceased worker. Because this is such a traumatic time, many families choose to utilize the services of an experienced workers' compensation attorney to navigate the claims process on their behalves.