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California luggage worker dies in workplace accident at LAX

Employees at LAX recently held a fundraiser for a luggage worker who was found dead at the airport. Originally, authorities believed the man's death was due to a heart attack. Recently, the California division of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration decided to conduct an investigation into the workplace accident.

Cal/OSHA did not indicate what information leads investigators to believe this was not a natural death. At the time of his death, the baggage worker went to retrieve a dolly on a baggage tug. The initial report to the coroner was that the man was the victim of a pedestrian vs. auto accident.

Speculation exists that the man somehow fell off the vehicle that then ran him over. By the time paramedics with the Los Angeles Fire Department reached the man, he could not be revived. For now, the coroner is delaying making a determination of cause of death.

Menzies Aviation USA Inc. employed the worker. OSHA issued citations against the company in June of last year for unsafe work conditions and fines were recommended for $94,550. Two of the citations were considered "serious" and "willful serious" from that investigation.

While Cal/OSHA and other California authorities investigate the details behind the workplace accident that took this man's life, his family is grieving. It could be some time before the family is given answers to the questions they have surrounding his death. In the meantime, the family may apply for workers' compensation benefits that could help the family with funeral and burial costs and provide them with a compensation package to make up for the loss of their loved one's income.

Source: Los Angeles Times, Cal/OSHA opens investigation into LAX luggage worker's death, Matt Stevens, Feb. 25, 2014

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