Working in a labor-intensive field, such as construction, can pose many risks to an employee's health. From straining muscles or sustaining other work-related injury, to being injured by the heavy machinery necessary to perform the work, these kinds of workers face risks every day.
Even work involving driving, rather than more manual labor, can result in deadly accidents. Recently a 49-year-old man from San Jose was killed while working at a quarry in the Cupertino area. It is believed that he was standing behind a tractor when the brakes failed, injuring him. He died at the hospital from his injuries. Investigators are continuing to look into the cause, including the Santa Clara County Sheriff's Office and the mining and tunneling unit of Cal-OSHA.
When a tragic workplace accident occurs, workers' compensation often comes into play. Each state has its own workers' compensation laws, which operate to make sure that workers receive certain benefits when they are injured. These laws also set forth who can benefit from workers' compensation. Certain types of employees are generally excluded, such as independent contractors and volunteers.
Workers' comp benefits are primarily monetary, and can include compensation for medical care related to treatment of the injury, compensation for permanent injury and replacement income. However, compensation for pain and suffering is not covered by workers' compensation. When a worker is killed in a workplace accident, workers' compensation can provide benefits to their surviving family members.
Workers' compensation is often considered an exclusive remedy and requires that the worker forfeit any right to litigate claims against their employers. However, if the injury was due in party to the negligence of a third party, such as a manufacturer of any defective equipment, the worker can still pursue those claims.
Source: mercurynews.com, "Jose Gonzales, 49, dies in industrial accident at Cupertino-area quarry," Mark Gomez, June 14, 2013
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