Construction work is one of the most hazardous occupations in the U.S. Workers are exposed daily to hazards such as falling objects, electrocution, toxic chemicals, negligent driving of vehicles, and defective equipment. A particular hazard in Massachusetts construction work is from scaffolds.
Construction has long been one of the most dangerous jobs in America. Although heavily regulated including being subject to strict OSHA rules and regulations, serious accidents and fatalities are not uncommon. The first fatal construction accident in Massachusetts for 2022 occurred in late March when a concrete slab on the roof of Government Center in Boston collapsed during its demolition on a 51-year-old worker.
Construction work has long been recognized as a dangerous occupation, but a recent spate of work-related injuries has had Massachusetts safety advocates concerned. In early March of this year, a Needham man working on a new public safety headquarters at Chestnut and School Streets slipped and fell 15-20 feet into a pit. Although he did not sustain life-threatening injuries, other construction workers in recent months have not been so fortunate.
The serious injuries actor Tracy Morgan sustained along with the fatal ones suffered by his passenger in a Walmart car accident involving a semi-tractor trailer in June 2014 underscore the dangers associated whenever a 5000 pound passenger vehicle meets a 16,000 to 30,000 pound 18-wheeler. In fact, many loaded trucks can weigh far more with some up to 90,000 pounds. In a collision, the motorist and passengers are at distinct and tragic disadvantage. You are 5 times more likely to suffer injuries or a fatality in an accident with a semi truck than in one with another passenger vehicle. The fatal passenger is the Tracy Morgan case was comedian James McNair who was survived by two adult children. They received a $10 million settlement payable in monthly installments over their lifetime. Mr. Morgan has a separate lawsuit against Walmart, owner of the truck, and had been going to rehab for many months. A recent Tracy Morgan case update indicated that the actor had recently married and appeared to be improving. He had sustained a broken arm, nose, rib fractures and a broken femur.
The town of Taunton, Massachusetts, lost one of its own when a local construction worker for Skyline Contracting and Roofing suffered fatal construction injury from tilting over of an aerial lift that had been stationed on uneven ground. The worker was 48 years of age. A safety advocacy group, MassCosh, or Massachusetts Coalition for Safety and Health, seized on the accident to emphasize that contractors need to institute stronger and more comprehensive safety measures and programs to protect workers in such accidents. Construction is one of the deadliest industries in the US, accounting for more fatalities and serious injuries than any other vocation. Although the Massachusetts Department of Labor Standards only recommends that aerial tilts be placed on stable ground, a MassCosh representative commented that workers need to be trained in any event for aerial tilts that are on slopes or inclines and to recognize when it is too steep or presents an unnecessary hazard.