Rise in Deaths of Undocumented Construction Workers

Despite the population of unauthorized immigrants dropping in New York City in recent years, the city has experienced a significant increase in deaths among undocumented construction workers. The New York Times reports that the deaths are related to a construction frenzy across all five boroughs.

Deaths among construction workers in the city have surged, but the majority have occurred among unauthorized immigrants. The fatality rate over the past two years has far surpassed the rate of new construction during the same time. The uptick in worker deaths points to extremely lax safety measures at construction job sites, the newspaper reports. Read on to learn more from our Boston workers’ compensation lawyers.

Undocumented Worker Fatalities “Completely Avoidable”

Increase in undocumented construction worker deathsIn a review of the city’s construction fatalities over the past two years, The Times found that many could have been avoided with adequate safety measures. Throughout thousands of pages of safety reports and other documents, a theme emerged of substandard safety measures at sites where workers lost their lives. Common characteristics of fatal accidents included:

  • Workers failing to wear helmets or harnesses as the law requires.
  • Substandard supervision at construction sites.
  • An emphasis on speed that compelled workers to take unwise shortcuts.
  • Smaller projects using poorly trained, non-union workers.
  • Contractors that had received previous citations for safety infractions and had not paid penalties.

Construction Accidents in Massachusetts

Unauthorized immigrants make up 5.1 percent of the U.S. labor force. Between 2009 and 2012, the number of unauthorized immigrants in the United States changed very little, but the number went up in seven states and down in 14 states during that time.

In Massachusetts, the number of unauthorized immigrants dropped by 25,000 between 2009 and 2012. At the end of the period, the number of unauthorized immigrants in the state stood at 150,000, constituting 2.3 percent of the population and 15 percent of the immigrant population. Unauthorized immigrants made up just 3.4 percent of the labor force.

As in New York City, unauthorized immigrants often are over-represented in construction accidents that result in serious injuries or fatalities. Poor training, inadequate safety equipment and safety measures, and contractors who are not committed to safety can contribute to conditions that put unauthorized immigrant workers at risk on the job.

In August 2015, a worker was killed in Taunton when he fell off a construction lift that tipped over. The lift was operating on a slope at the time of the accident, authorities reported.

Too often, construction workers in Massachusetts are hurt or killed in construction accidents, and in many cases, accidents involve unauthorized immigrants. Often, unauthorized immigrant workers are at a disadvantage — due to the language barrier and the need for immediate work — and can find themselves in unsafe situations because of contractors’ negligence on construction job sites.

Consult with an Experienced Workplace Injury Attorney

If you are new to the United States, you may feel that you are powerless to protect yourself on a job site. Understand that being safe on the job is your right and that contractors, landowners and other parties must follow the laws that require them to take appropriate safety precautions. If you or a loved one have been injured by unsafe practices at a worksite, consult with a Boston personal injury attorney with significant experience in workers compensation and injuries. Contact the Law Office of John J. Sheehan for a free consultation today.

Photo via flickr by afflictedmonkey

Real Stories From
Our Clients

Attorney Sheehan has been serving the needs of Boston-area residents since 1993. Our mission is to ensure complete client satisfaction and to obtain the maximum possible settlement or verdict for our clients.

Historias Reales de Nuestros Clientes

El abogado Sheehan ha atendido las necesidades de los residentes del área de Boston desde el 1993. Nuestra misión es garantizar la satisfacción de nuestros clientes y obtener el mejor acuerdo posible en sus casos.

"John Sheehan is a highly knoweldgable and all around amazing lawyer!" Si volvemos a necesitar un abogado para algo en el futuro, USTED será a quien llamemos.

I was injured at work in 2019 and John and his team made the process as simple as anyone could!! They took care of everything! The only thing I had to do is rest and go to doctor appointments! I would HIGHLY recommend anyone looking for an attorney to hire John Sheehan - if you would like a nice and easy process in a highly stressful situation and on top of it attorney Sheehan will get you the maximum of what your case is worth!

John Sheehan y su personal son muy amables, corteses, rápidos y explican todo a fondo. Hicieron un trabajo maravilloso para mi esposo y para mí y no podría recomendar un abogado más calificado. Hizo TODO lo que pudo por mi esposo y por mí a través de la compensación de trabajadores. He recomendado y continuaré recomendando a John a cualquiera de mis amistades que necesiten sus destrezas. Trabajo asombroso. John, Muchas gracias tanto de Al como de mí. No puedo agradecerte lo suficiente por hacer todo lo posible por nosotros. Cada vez que teníamos una pregunta, devolvía nuestras llamadas rápidamente. Esperamos no haberte vuelto loco. Si alguna vez necesitamos un abogado para algo, USTED será a quien llamemos. Muchas gracias de nuevo. ¡Gran trabajo! John, me gustaría darte las gracias aunque Judy ya lo hizo. Usted es el major y el personal de su oficina responden llamadas en seguida. Definitivamente lo recomendaremos a nuestros amigos si necesitan sus servicios. ¡Gracias nuevamente por un trabajo bien hecho!

- Jon P. (Google) Judy y Al Crowe
boston workers compensation lawyer 5.0/5.0
Boston Workers Comp Lawyer
Best Boston Car Accident Lawyers
Best Boston personal injury lawyer
boston car accident attorney