Cal-OSHA spokesman Dean Fryer said the agency is investigating the incident. He said investigators plan to examine the safety training of employees, the safety of the workplace environment and the safety of the equipment.
Perez had worked for Securitas Security Services, which provides security guards for Foster Farms, for 10 years and had been at the Modesto facility for about a year.
The Modesto Bee reports that Luis Miranda, human resources director at Foster Farms, said Perez was walking across an open space when she was struck by the powered industrial truck, which was hauling trailers back to a loading dock. The driver didn't realize Perez had been hit until he looked in the mirror and spied her lying on the ground.
According to Miranda, the truck driver had received proper training and the company has cautioned employees to be more careful in areas where the trucks are in operation.
"We certainly have alerted employees of the hazard and to stay away from the open area where there's moving traffic if they're not supposed to be there," Miranda told the Bee.
A similar accident occurred approximately one month ago at a Ingomar Packing Co. in Volta, Calif. A sanitation worker died when the brakes on a tractor-trailer rig let go and it rolled down a ramp and pinned him.
In California, as in other states and the nation overall, transportation accidents claimed the most lives in 2003. A total of 33 workers died after being struck by vehicles at the job site last year, down from 42 in 2002.