At the end of February, a luggage worker at one of California’s largest airports died (“California luggage worker dies in workplace accident at LAX,” March 3, 2014). The man was not properly restrained when he fell off a tow tractor while working at the airport. Now, the California division of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration has completed its investigation into the workplace accident that took his life.

Cal/OSHA found several violations for which the man’s employer — Menzies Aviation — has been assessed fines in the amount of $77,250. Investigators believe that the company’s safety policy was inadequate. Airport workers were allowed to go without a seat belt in certain areas. In fact, it is possible that workers were encouraged to forego this precaution in those areas.

While conducting an inspection at LAX related to the worker’s death, investigators observed other employees who were not properly restrained while operating tow tractors around the airport. The company’s vehicles were also not properly inspected to be sure that they were safe. Ultimately, it was decided that the accident that killed the luggage worker should never have happened.

That conclusion most likely did not come as a surprise to the man’s family. In the months since the workplace accident that caused his death, his family most likely looked to the California workers’ compensation system for benefits to help get them through the financial impact of his death. They might be eligible for benefits that will help them pay for his funeral and burial and may provide them with a settlement for the loss of his income.

Source: workerscompensation.com, “Cal/OSHA Cites Employer for More than $77K“, , Sept. 30, 2014