California workers in the lumber industry put their lives on the line to care for their families. Sadly, many young children have lost a parent who succumbed to injuries suffered in sawmills. The California workers’ compensation insurance system eases the financial burden of thousands of families each year by paying out death benefits.
A 27-year-old sawmill worker recently left behind his mother and two young children when he died in a caught-by accident while working at a Sierra Pacific Industries sawmill in Tuolumne County. The California Division of Occupational Safety and Health is investigating the incident. Investigators will work to determine whether this fatality resulted from noncompliance with safety standards.
A preliminary report indicates that the conveyor system on the lumber plant caught the worker. He was pulled into the roller and suffered injuries. According to a family member, the man only started working for SPI less than three weeks before his tragic death. She also mentioned that he was already looking out for another, less dangerous job because he had already suffered two workplace injuries in his first two weeks on the job.
This worker also left behind his mother, who may be entitled to workers’ compensation survivors’ benefits. An experienced attorney can provide the necessary support and guidance throughout the benefits claims process. Death benefits typically cover the costs related to end-of-life expenses along with a financial package to make up for lost wages. Obtaining maximum benefits under applicable laws could ease the burden of the grandmother who might now have to care for the deceased workers’ two children.