An investigation by Cal/OSHA after a worker died in a date palm orchard in Thermal concluded that the employer had not taken necessary steps to evaluate workplace hazards. Safety inspectors launched the inquiry after a bee swarm killed a 49-year-old man applying water to fruit. At least 30 bees stung him after he sprayed their nest, and anaphylactic shock ended his life.
His employer publicly expressed shock and grief at the loss of the man who had worked for the company for 27 years, but inspectors cited the company with four violations of workplace safety and health codes. Primary among the citations was the company's failure to provide training about insect threats and protective gear. The agency has imposed $41,310 in fines on the company.
According to Cal/OSHA, regulations for tree workers specifically mention attacks from bees or other animals as a hazard. Guidelines require employers to create written rules that comprehensively address safety issues and procedures for mitigating dangers. Employers need to enforce these rules and train workers so that they understand risks and how to use protective gear effectively.
Many types of dangers might confront a person at work, such as defective machinery or inadequate safety training. A person injured on the job is generally entitled to file a claim for workers' compensation benefits under the employer's insurance coverage. These benefits could include medical care and a percentage of wages lost. There are also death benefits that might be available to the surviving family members of a person killed on the job. An attorney can often be of assistance with the preparation and filing of a claim.