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Worker killed on the job at tuna factory

A 62-year-old seafood worker employed by tuna fish processor Bumble Bee for the past six years was recently killed in an accident on the job. Now his family members are desperate for answers.

Though the details are sparse, what is known is that this man was working a night shift at the manufacturing plant. He was responsible for placing the tuna fish inside of an industrial oven, which is more like a large steamer room. Somehow, the worker became locked inside the cooking room and could not escape.

Authorities were initially called to respond to what was described as an industrial accident. When paramedics arrived on the scene, they could not revive the worker.

An investigation by the state's Occupational Safety and Health Administration has been initiated into this tragic workplace death. This is necessary not only to provide answers to the worker's family, but also to prevent an accident like this from happening in the future.

Bumble Bee has released a statement saying it is saddened by the loss of this long-term employee. However, his death raises the question as to whether safety measures were in place that could have prevented this fatal workplace accident.

Workers injured on the job in South Carolina may be entitled to collect workers' compensation benefits based upon state law. In the case of a fatal injury, family members may be able to collect death benefits.

Workers' compensation law in South Carolina, however, is extremely complex, and the outcome for each individual case will depend upon the circumstances which led to the injury or death.

Source: Los Angeles Times, "Family of Bumble Bee worker baked in oven demands answers," Oct. 16, 2012

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