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California Occupational Safety and Health Administration said Thursday that it has issued citations to Thermal, California-based Hadley Date Gardens Inc. for serious workplace safety and health violations following a bee swarm that stung and killed a tree worker.
In July, “a tree worker was spraying water on date palm fruit from the elevated bucket of a spraying rig when a beehive was disturbed. The bees repeatedly stung the worker, who suffered anaphylactic shock and died at the site,” Cal/OSHA said in the statement.
Cal/OSHA issued four citations totaling $41,310 in proposed penalties for workplace safety and health violations for failing to evaluate the worksite for hazardous bee and insect exposure, and failing to establish appropriate safety protocols, which include providing protective equipment and training, according to the statement.
“Recognized workplace hazards for tree workers include bee and other harmful insect exposure,” said Cal/OSHA Chief Juliann Sum. “Employers must identify and evaluate workplace hazards, and provide appropriate personal protective equipment and effective training to their workers.”
California regulators and Chevron Corp. have settled workplace safety and health citations issued in relation to a 2012 refinery fire for more than $1 million.