Death of dairy worker may lead to more regulations

KENNEWICK, Wash. (AP) — The investigation into the death of a Mabton dairy worker who drowned in a manure pit shows the man had drugs in his system.

Randy Vasquez drowned March 4 in a manure storage lagoon at Riverview Ranch. The dairy was fined more than $2,000 as a result of his death.

The Tri-City Herald reports ( ) that the Yakima County coroner found Vasquez had a non-fatal amount of methamphetamine in his system at the time of his death, a fact the farm used to prove they were not at fault in his death.

Vasquez's girlfriend Nubia Guajardo is working with the United Farm Workers Union as the group lobbies throughout the country for safer working conditions.

Guajardo says the drugs do not excuse the fact that dairies are dangerous workplaces.