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Tragic loss of young worker under semi-trailer prompts safety concerns

A 19-year-old man named Jose Abrego tragically lost his life after becoming trapped beneath a semi-trailer at Pitman Family Farms in Sanger, California late Tuesday night.

What happened: Abrego was reportedly beneath the truck when the accident occurred, resulting in fatal injuries. Emergency responders were unable to revive him and he was declared dead on site, reported ABC30.

Investigation: The local police department has concluded its portion of the investigation, with no suspicion of foul play. Meanwhile, Cal/OSHA has been alerted and will review the incident, as the same facility was under scrutiny for a separate fatal accident in the previous year.

  • That earlier incident, which took place in May 2023, involved a 66-year-old worker who died doing maintenance at the plant.
  • The ongoing investigation into the 2023 incident revealed serious safety violations and proposed fines exceeding $56,000.

Broader implications: According to attorney Kevin Little, the occurrence of two deadly accidents in a short span at the same facility is alarming and could lead OSHA to conduct a proactive investigation.

Response: The farm has contested the citations from the 2023 incident, prolonging the legal process to determine any violations. As of now, responses from Pitman Farms or Cal/OSHA regarding the latest accident have not been disclosed.

Community impact: These consecutive incidents raise concerns about worker safety at agricultural facilities, especially those already under investigation for previous safety issues.

Cal/OSHA’s findings from the prior incident and its decision on the recent one will be closely monitored to see if there is a pattern of negligence requiring further action to prevent such tragedies.

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