Make Workers’ Compensation Work for You

Construction SiteThis recent article from the Boston Globe details dangers for Massachusetts workers. The Massachusetts AFL-CIO and the Massachusetts Coalition for Occupational Safety and Health issued a joint report that described the perilous working conditions for workers in the state of Massachusetts. In 2013, 48 Massachusetts residents died in the course of their work. The two groups release an annual report to commemorate both workers that have been injured, killed, and disabled during their work, as well as workers who suffer chronic illnesses due to their occupation.

The Leading Cause of Injury and Death

According to the report, the leading causes of death for Massachusetts workers in 2013 consisted of falls and being crushed or stuck between machines and equipment. Both types of incidents were responsible for 9 deaths in the state last year. The third leading cause of death for workers was truck or auto accidents. The report also included firefighters who died because of work-related heart disease and cancer. It also listed construction, firefighting, and commercial fishing as the most dangerous sectors for work-related injuries. The spokesperson for the Massachusetts Coalition for Occupational Safety and Health also stated that she believed that organizations and companies could prevent most workplace deaths and declared the necessity of more stringent regulations.

Workers’ Compensation is for Your Protection

What you should take from these organizations’ report is that workers’ compensation is of great importance to ensure that workers have protection in case they are injured or killed in the course of their occupation. She declared that because companies frame the issue as a “freak accident,” as it may not have happened before, there is less likelihood that the event will be properly investigated and that the conditions that led to the injuries will not be ameliorated. The spokesperson also stated that the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration is understaffed and, as a result, the government rarely levies fines for employers that do not have safe working conditions.

When Tragedy Strikes

If a loved one is killed in the course of their employment, the state of Massachusetts has established guidelines so that loved ones can be provided for after such a tragedy. Massachusetts has provided a fact sheet detailing workers’ compensation death benefits. These benefits are valid even if your loved one worked “under the table,” provided that you can proved that he or she was an employee. The benefits also extend toward undocumented immigrants.

The Importance of an Attorney

While Massachusetts provides information about death benefits for Massachusetts workers, it is still a good idea to speak with an attorney. An attorney may have information concerning other possible considerations. For example, in certain cases, a lawyer may discern that while a person is entitled to death benefits, other issues, such as a wrongful death, may be present. Additionally, there are matters such as filing dates that may require a lawyer’s assistance. If you have questions regarding workers’ compensation, you should contact John J. Sheehan. He has a sterling reputation in the field of workers’ compensation and can assist you today.

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