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Baggage handler death at LA airport under investigation

The California Division of Occupational Safety and Health has decided to investigate what may have happened at the Los Angeles airport leading to the death of a worker. A 51-year-old baggage handler died on February 21 while working at the airport. Initial reports turned out to be somewhat confusing. Authorities suspected that the worker may have suffered a heart attack. However, the call to the county coroner’s office reported the fatality as involving an accident.

The man was found on the ground at the international airport. Authorities say that he was driving a luggage truck when he either lost control or had a medical issue and fell off the tug. Authorities believe that the baggage handler may hit by the ground service vehicle after falling off.

Cal-OSHA investigators visited the airport a few days after the man was found. Agents intend to investigate the incident as an industrial accident. Officials say that it could be weeks before authorities determine the cause of death. Cal-OSHA investigations, meanwhile, can take up to six months to complete.

State workplace safety officials say that the man worked for an aviation services company that received several citations last summer for safety violations.

The man’s family continues to seek answers and a workplace safety investigation may be useful in shedding some light on what actually occurred.

Workers in the airline industry can be exposed to a great many dangers while working on a tarmac. Noise levels and the movement of equipment and planes are only some of the dangers that a tarmac worker may face. If unsafe work procedures or other safety issues are present, the risk of danger may significantly increase for a worker in the airline industry.

Source: Los Angeles Times, “Cal/OSHA opens investigation into LAX luggage worker's death,” Matt Stevens, Feb. 25, 2014

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