Workers' compensation: Fatality at turkey processing plant

Foster Farms employs over 1,000 workers at two meat processing plants in Turlock. One plant was closed on a recent Tuesday after a worker lost his life in a workplace accident. Each year, a significant number of workers' compensation claims in California involve production line workers.

The California Division of Occupational Safety and Health is investigating the death of a production line worker on one of the turkey processing plants of this company. The agency has strict safety standards to protect workers from making contact with moving machine parts. Safeguards must be installed to protect workers, yet catastrophic injuries and fatalities continue to result from the dangers of unguarded equipment.

Reportedly, the recent death of a 30-year-old worker followed an incident in which the worker was pulled into a conveyor by his neck. Unconfirmed reports by the company allege that the worker fell asleep on the job. The Cal/OSHA investigators will determine the specific circumstances that caused the workers' death, and the employer's compliance with prescribed safety standards will also be determined.

The surviving family members of the deceased worker need not wait for the findings of the Cal/OSHA investigation. They can proceed with filing a workers' compensation claim for death benefits. The program is a no-fault system that pays benefits regardless of who was at fault. Families who lose loved ones in workplace accidents typically receive compensation to cover end-of-life expenses along with a financial package to make up for lost wages. An attorney who is experienced in this field of the law can provide valuable support and guidance with the navigation of the administrative and legal proceedings.

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