Workers' compensation claim may follow death in construction zone

Road construction workers nationwide, including in California, frequently put their lives on the line. Not only are they exposed to the negligence of distracted drivers who travel through construction zones, but also the heavy equipment that is used on site. It is not uncommon for these workers to fall victims to either the one hazard or the other, typically resulting in workers' compensation claims.

The California Division of Occupational Safety and Health reported an investigation that was launched after a fatal workplace accident at a road construction site in San Bernardino County. A report by authorities in Fontana indicates that a 51-year-old worker was killed in an on-the-job accident. It happened at approximately 2 p.m. on a Wednesday earlier this month.

Although the circumstances that led to the fatality is still under investigation, limited details were made available. Reportedly, the worker died when he was run over by a tractor in the construction zone. Cal/OSHA investigators will determine whether this was the result of a safety violation.

When lives are lost on California work sites, the workers' compensation insurance system provides surviving family members of deceased victims the opportunity to claim death benefits. These typically comprise of funds to cover the high costs of end-of-life arrangements. Furthermore, dependents may be awarded financial assistance to make up for lost wages to help with living expenses in the aftermath of a loved one's death. The wage-replacement package will be based upon the average weekly wage the deceased worker earned prior to his or her death.

Source:, "Murrieta man run over by tractor, killed during Fontana road project", Alex Groves, Sept. 15, 2017

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