Regulator proposes fine after worker dies from heat injuries

The federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has proposed fines of $11,641 after a worker died from heat-related injuries near Grand Island. The fines, once approved, will be imposed against Rivera Agri Inc.

The fatal accident that triggered the OSHA investigation and fines happened in a cornfield on July 12. The deceased worker succumbed to symptoms caused by excessive exposure to heat. According to OSHA inspectors, the agricultural labor company that employed the man as a temporary worker inadequately trained its employees regarding heat injury and heat illness prevention. Sadly, this resulted in the man falling fatally ill while on the job.

OSHA ruled that Rivera Agri Inc. committed a serious infraction of the General Duty Clause. OSHA's area office director said in a statement, "This tragedy underscores the need for employers with workers exposed to high temperatures to take simple, well-known precautions." He went on to say that agricultural workers require access to rest, water and shade to allow them to safely cope with extreme heat conditions.

Not only do employers need to keep a watchful eye on their employees to make sure they have been properly trained in matters relating to the prevention of heat-related injuries, but the workers themselves also need to be vigilant while on the job to care for themselves and their fellow employees in high heat environments.

If you or your loved one suffered from a serious work-related injury, our Omaha-based workers' compensation law firm is available to discuss the facts of your case. We will listen to your story and advise you of your legal rights and options.

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