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California workplace accidents: Security gate falls on guard

Local police were recently called to the site of a San Bernardino business where a woman was found dead. In response to that death, the California office of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration has been called to investigate the deadly accident. Many workplace accidents are caused by faulty equipment, and this case may be the same.

A security officer at Burrtec Industries was attempting to put a hefty security gate back on its track with a crowbar. Instead of the gate getting back into its track, it fell on the guard. A 911 call brought emergency personnel to the scene where they pronounced the woman dead.

The San Bernardino County Coroner's Office has reported that the gate crushed the woman, killing her. It will be up to Cal-OSHA to determine whether any action will be taken against Burrtec Industries as a result of this accident. Their investigation may involve making a determination as to why the security gate had come off its track and would topple so easily.

The woman's family is certainly devastated by her loss. However, it may not only be her presence they will miss, but also the financial assistance she provided her family. As is the case in workplace accidents, the family of the deceased worker may be eligible for workers' compensation benefits. Depending on the circumstances surrounding her employment and death, her family may also be able to file a civil action against a party or parties that may have somehow contributed to her death.

Source: Redlands Daily Facts, "Guard crushed to death by security gate in San Bernardino," Beatriz E. Valenzuela, May 26, 2013

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