A California family is grieving the loss of a loved one after a fatal accident on a citrus farm. The Wonderful Citrus orchard, located in Tulare County, employs the use of wind machines to bring in warmer air into their facilities on nights when the temperatures drop. In a seemingly random incident, a 600-pound blade came off one of these huge machines, striking the worker and leaving him with serious workplace injuries that eventually resulted in his death.
The worker was attempting to turn off the machine at the time the accident happened. According to the brother of the deceased, the machine vibrated strongly, then a blade came loose. The worker tried to avoid being struck, but he was hit with significant force. Others found him conscious on the ground after the accident, and it appeared he had no external injuries. He later died from blunt force trauma.
The company is currently investigating what happened in order to determine why a blade came off the machine. Cal/OSHA, which looks into all California work accidents, is also examining the situation. In 2016, Cal/OSHA cited the company for violations and two incidents that occurred on company property.
It is tragic when a worker dies from serious workplace injuries that are the result of preventable safety hazards or other factors. A family does not have to walk trough the aftermath of a fatal work alone, but they have the right to seek benefits and support through a workers’ compensation claim. This type of insurance may allow a family to secure death benefits to cover their financial losses and more.