Every job has its hazards, and workers in all industries should be made aware of potentially dangerous situations. California employers have the responsibility to provide safety training to all their employees. In addition to supplying safety equipment such as harnesses for workers who are working at heights, it is the responsibility of employers and supervisors to ensure that such equipment is used in an appropriate way to avoid an accident on the job.
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration reported that an investigation is ongoing into a workplace accident that resulted in the demise of a tree trimmer in another state. According to a police report, the accident happened at the end of July, when a 42-year-old worker fell from an elevated bucket. Witnesses stated that the worker had strung a rope between the tree and the winch of the bucket. In an attempt to dislodge a partially sawed piece of the tree, the worker apparently used the winch to pull it.
It was reported that the rope broke and jolted the bucket, causing the tree trimmer to lose his balance and fall 50 feet to the ground. The injured worker was rushed to the hospital, but he succumbed to his injuries and was declared dead at the hospital. It was not clear whether the worker was an employee of the tree trimming company or a subcontractor.
In California, most workers are covered by the workers’ compensation insurance fund. Eligible workers may claim compensation from the insurance fund rather than the company owner. Families who have lost a loved one in an accident on the job may also claim benefits from the fund. The workers’ compensation benefits for surviving families usually includes medical and end-of-life expenses, along with a compensation package for the surviving spouse.
Source: gainesville.com, "Investigation into tree trimmer's death still underway", Austin L. Miller, Aug. 16, 2014