The Hopkins Police responded to a 911 call about an incident inside the Supervalu Food Distribution Center on Sept. 21 resulting in one death. The 51-year-old man suffered serious injuries at about 2:35 p.m. in the warehouse on the 300 block of 2nd Avenue South and died before emergency personnel could assist him.
A representative for the Supervalu facility released a statement expressing sympathy for the victim's family, friends and coworkers; the representative also reported that the company is working with investigators in this matter. The distribution center shut down after the accident occurred.
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration is expected to investigate this accident along with police. OSHA fined Supervalu $3,000 in 2010 after a routine inspection revealed three safety violations, but no fines had been reported since then. The Minnesota Department of Labor and Industry listed 67 work-related fatalities in 2013 and 70 in 2012.
Employees are entitled to certain benefits from their employers after workplace accidents occur, and a family of the deceased may receive similar benefits when someone is killed in a job-related accident. This compensation can help with funeral costs and lost wages after a loved one's death, but families may want to consult an attorney before filing the necessary paperwork. Some offers may not cover a family's needs, and accepting workers' compensation waives one's rights to any civil claims.
When a loved one dies or an employee suffers injuries due to an employer's negligence, a wrongful death or personal injury claim can be filed in civil court. This could allow a family or injured worker to recover a larger sum, and a civil suit also lets one seek compensation for things like pain and suffering.
Source: KARE 11, "Man killed working at Supervalu warehouse", September 22, 2014