Workplace accidents can occur in any type of industry, and the results of an accident can lead to severe medical issues, and unfortunately even death, at times. The death of a worker can be tragic for co-workers-- and devastating for families of the accident victim. California workers' compensation laws provide important benefits for victims of workplace accidents. Benefits may also be available for families of a worker killed in an accident on the job.
Tragedy struck a recycling center in March in the Napa County, California. The California Highway Patrol says that a trip and fall may have been involved in a fatal accident at the Valley Disposal & Recycling facility near St. Helena, California.
The accident essentially involved a slow-speed pedestrian and truck accident at the recycling center. The CHP says that a 45-year-old worker stepped out of an office building and apparently fell down. Authorities believe that the worker had just clocked in to start his shift for the day.
At approximately the same time, the CHP says that a co-worker was passing by the office building in a Freightliner truck. Authorities believe that the rig was traveling about 2 miles per hour. The driver, a 58-year-old Napa, California resident did not see his co-worker outside the office building, according to the CHP.
Officials say that the fallen worker was struck by the front wheels of the rig in the fatal workplace accident. Officials say that the driver and accident victim were co-workers for the recycling facility.
A complete investigation into the incident was opened. The Division of Occupational Safety and Health, better known as Cal-OSHA, was notified of the incident. The agency is expected to conduct its own investigation. Investigations into workplace accidents generally may seek to discover potential safety violations or issues, and to further determine potential causes of an accident to prevent future repeat accidents.
Potential negligence of an employer or co-worker is generally not an issue in a claim for workers' compensation. However, when a third party may be involved in an accident at a job site, the workers' compensation laws may not apply to a third party actor.
Source: KGO-TV ABC 7, "Man run over at recycling center in North Bay," March 12, 2013