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Workplace injuries: Pool service employee succumbs to heatstroke

The California Division of Occupational Safety and Health has strict regulations in place when it comes to heat exposure. Employers in San Diego and across the state must protect workers from suffering heat-related illnesses. As with any other fatal workplace injuries, heatstroke deaths must be reported to the agency within a limited time. Cal/OSHA recently released information about such a fatality that was only reported 12 days later.

The coroner confirmed that a 38-year-old employee of a pool service company died after suffering heatstroke on a day in June. Investigators determined that there was a heat advisory effective on June 5. Temperatures reached 101 degrees on that day. Reportedly the worker was found in his personal vehicle at the end of his shift. He was transported to the hospital, where he passed away the next day.

Although this worker died on June 6, authorities were only advised on June 18. Cal/OSHA has now launched an investigation into this worker's death. The investigators will examine the employer's compliance with heat-related safety standards.

Although the employer will face penalties for safety violations, the outcome of the investigation will not affect the rights of the family to pursue financial relief. While nothing can make up for the emotional losses suffered by the surviving family members of a worker in San Diego or another city who died as the result of fatal workplace injuries, workers' compensation benefits could ease the financial burden. An experienced attorney can assist in obtaining the death benefits offered by the California workers' compensation insurance program. The compensation typically covers the expenses of end-of-life arrangements along with a financial package to make up for lost wages.

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