Throughout history, construction has been one of the most dangerous professions. Some construction projects are notorious for their high death counts — the Panama Canal had an estimated 30,609 worker deaths, for ex. Thankfully, safety standards have evolved exponentially since those days. Yet in 2016, construction workers still face an enormous risk to their personal health and safety.
Cambridge Construction Worker Rescued
One recent incident at a Cambridge construction project on Fawcett Street brings this issue to light. A construction employee was working in a pit 30 feet below ground when, allegedly, another crew member inadvertently lowered an I-beam into the pit with him still in the way. The I-beam made forceful contact, cutting his leg.
MIT police and the Cambridge Fire Department responded to the incident. After ensuring that the worker’s bleeding was under control, he was extracted from the pit and loaded into an ambulance for treatment. According to most recent accounts, the man was alive, breathing and in stable condition.
Construction accidents like these illustrate the need for extensive safety oversight during projects. Many accidents can be avoided by following standards set by OSHA and other regulatory agencies.
What Is OSHA?
OSHA stands for the Occupational Safety and Health Administration. It was established in 1970 by Congress to establish and oversee safety standards on work sites. Its job, quite simply, is to provide safer working conditions, and to provide training, education, outreach and assistance to workers in a variety of industries.
Construction Injuries in Massachusetts All Too Common
Unfortunately, the Fawcett Street incident is only the most recent in a string of Boston area construction injuries stretching back through recent memory.
One of the most vivid incidents was an accident last June in Somerville that cost two construction workers their lives. The accident occurred when a temporary service elevator broke away from the building and fell to the ground.
In total, 35 construction workers died in Massachusetts from 2012-2014, according to the most recent available data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). The state also saw 3,600 construction injuries in 2014 alone. Some accidents like head injuries can easily result in permanent disability.
These incidents show the risks construction workers face on a daily basis. When safety standards set by agencies like OSHA are ignored, these risks become even greater. OSHA takes such violations very seriously, leveraging fines and other sanctions against construction firms that disregard rules or follow them inconsistently. OSHA also rigorously investigates incidents suspected to be in violation of their standards.
What to Do If You Are Injured During Construction or See OSHA Violations
All OSHA violations should be reported immediately to ensure the health and safety of workers. If you feel like your rights were violated or you have been unfairly treated since your injury, you can also seek legal representation from an experienced Boston workers compensation attorney. With their help, you can pursue the maximum compensation to which you are entitled while seeking justice for your employer’s dangerous neglect.
Contact John J. Sheehan today for your free consultation for your construction accident injury or workers compensation case today.