SEATTLE (AP) — State officials have launched an investigation into a Sumas blueberry farm to determine if any workplace conditions caused the death of a temporary worker who died Sunday.
Honesto Silva Ibarra went to a Bellingham clinic complaining of headaches after picking berries at Sarbanand Farms. The 28-year-old collapsed and later died at Harborview Medical Center in Seattle.
The Seattle Times reported Wednesday that Washington spokesman Tim Church said the agency opened two separate investigations: workplace safety with health inspection and employment standards.
Church says the first investigation will determine if “this was a workplace-related death and, if so, how,” and the second will determine if workers were getting paid on time, and if they had appropriate rest and meals.
Ibarra, a father of three, was in the U.S. on a temporary H-2A agricultural-worker visa from Mexico.