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Cal/OSHA investigates fatal work accident at Berkeley school

A Livermore man was recently killed in a construction accident at Berkeley's Martin Luther King Jr. Middle School, and Cal/OSHA is investigating. The 62-year-old worker was reportedly wearing protective gear over his ears as he operated machinery to tamp down asphalt near the school's running track.

Unfortunately, he was unable to hear the calls of his coworkers as a big rig began to roll down a slope. The truck hit him, and he suffered fatal injuries.

A spokesperson for the school district said the deceased man didn't see the truck rolling down the slope because his back was turned to the vehicle. His coworkers did see the truck moving, but the man's head gear and the sound of the machinery undoubtedly drowned out his coworkers' calls.

The Cal/OSHA investigation will likely seek to determine exactly why the truck began to roll. In such work-related accidents, vehicle maintenance may be an issue, or maybe an employee neglected to apply a parking break or left a vehicle in neutral.

The deceased man was an employee of San Jose-based Robert A. Bothman Inc., and a news report doesn't offer a statement from the company.

Usually Cal/OSHA spends about three or four months investigating fatal workplace accidents, and the time limit for completing such an investigation is six months. The family of the deceased worker is probably anxious to see the results of that investigation.

In our Santa Clara County law practice, we help injured workers or their families receive the workers' compensation benefits they deserve. If a person has been killed on the job, then that individual's family can claim death benefits under California's workers' compensation law. People who are interested in learning more about workers' compensation in our state are encouraged to visit our main site.

Source: Berkeley Patch, "Worker Killed at King Middle School Identified, Didn't Hear Warning Yells," Charles Buress, Aug. 30, 2013

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