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Explaining what happens when an employee dies at work

For the most part, a large number of companies in the state of California follow the laws governing safety and other regulations to protect employees. There are a handful of companies that try to skirt these laws in an effort to save money. Employees also do their best to follow these laws and the procedures put in place by their employers. The sad fact of the matter is that accidents still happen and employees suffer serious injuries or even die on the job.

It is possible that the death of an employee, while on the job, could lead to workers' compensation benefits activating. These benefits are typically held for employees who are only injured on the job, but some policies could have clauses that allow for death benefits. California has a $10,000 benefit for burial expenses. Families with three dependents or more could also be eligible for $320,000 in the state.

Depending on how the employee's death occurred, there could be fines assessed to the company by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). Companies could also face criminal prosecution in the death of the employee if the company acted negligently or maliciously.

Businesses are required by law to notify OSHA of the death of an employee on the job within eight hours of it occurring. Businesses are required to notify the family of the employee or they can request that a police officer conduct the notification of next of kin.

Wrongful death in the workplace in San Diego, California, is not uncommon. Employees can get hurt or suffer fatal accidents in just about any type of profession. It's important for all involved to know the safety laws in place and should follow them at all times.

Source: Bangor Daily News, "What Happens to Your Business If a Worker Dies on the Job?," May 10, 2018

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