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Posted On: November 11, 2011

Two Roofers Shocked at Construction Site in Bridgewater

Two roofers at a residential construction site in Bridgewater were recently electrocuted when the ladder they were moving touched an electrical wire overhead. After a fellow construction worker called 911, emergency crews arrived to find that one of the workers, Angel Caguana, 23, of Brockton, was unconscious. Bridgewater Fire Lieutenant, Robert Mancinelli, said that Caguana was in cardiac arrest upon their arrival and the other victim, Antonio Gomes, 22, had been shocked but did not have life-threatening injuries. Mancinelli said firefighters administered CPR and applied a defibrillator to Caguana. His heart rate soon increased from zero to 120 and he started to breathe on his own. He was flown to Massachusetts General Hospital by MedFlight and his injuries were listed as serious. As a safety measure, Gomes was taken by ambulance to the Good Samaritan Medical Center in Brockton with non-life-threatening injuries. Police reported that both men work for a Brockton construction company and were installing a roof on the residence at the time of the accident.

Electrocution accidents can result from a wide variety of circumstances. Many electrocution accidents occur in the workplace and most frequently occur at construction sites, as was the case here. Because the majority of construction work involves the use or installation of electricity, construction workers are in close proximity to live wires, circuit breakers, control panels, or power lines, such as above.

Electrocution accidents can also occur from faulty wiring, or involve a faulty product, such as a hair dryer or microwave. As a safety precaution for the general public, the Western Massachusetts Electric Company recommends never to touch any downed or sagging power lines. Because it is very difficult to tell the difference between a telephone line, cable television line or electrical line, it is recommended to consider any line to be energized and thus potentially dangerous.

If you have suffered an electrocution accident on the job or have been injured at work, it is advised to contact an experienced Massachusetts workers´ compensation lawyer.

Sources:

Worker shocked by overhead wire is revived in Bridgewater, www.boston.com, November 9, 2011

Safety, Security and Lighting, Community Safety, Western Massachusetts Electric Co.

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Posted On: November 7, 2011

Massachusetts Bay Commuter Railroad Cited for 22 Safety Violations at Somerville Train Yard

The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration has recently cited Massachusetts Bay Commuter Railroad Co. LLC for 22 alleged serious workplace safety violationsin Somerville´s Inner Belt neighborhood. OSHA additionally proposed $130,800 in fines to the company for these violations.

Inspections carried out between April and October uncovered that employees in the facility’s diesel, carpentry, truck, pipe and coach workshops were exposed to potential electric shocks, fires, falls, chemical burns, lacerations, amputations and bloodborne pathogens, in addition to possible injuries from crushing, slipping and tripping hazards.

OSHA discovered that unqualified employees were working on energized electrical equipment without proper personal protective equipment. Additionally, the facility had numerous exposed electrical circuits, inadequately misused power cords, the lack of locking out electrical power sources during maintenance, incorrect and inadequately secured oxygen and acetylene cylinders in storage, and a blocked emergency exit by a storage unit of flammable materials. Employees were also allowed to work with corrosive chemicals without face masks, hand protection or protective clothing. The facility had unguarded saw blades and unlabeled containers of hazardous chemicals. The company also failed to offer hepatitis B vaccinations to employees who were potentially exposed to bloodborne pathogens while cleaning passenger cars.

OSHA issues a serious violation when there is substantial likelihood that death or serious physical harm could result from a hazard about which "the employer knew or should have known."

Jeffrey A. Erskine, OSHA’s area director for Middlesex and Essex counties said, "The sizable fines proposed here reflect the number and breadth of hazardous conditions found at this facility…While some violations were corrected during the course of the inspection, the railroad must correct all hazards and take effective steps to prevent their recurrence."

In a statement following the proposed fines and citations, the company stated: "MBCR treats safety with the utmost seriousness…MBCR has abated or is in the process of addressing all of the issues identified by OSHA. The company will continue to work closely with OSHA and the Federal Railroad Association to ensure the highest possible level of safety for employees and customers." The statement also said that MBCR has the second lowest rate of injuries in the industry and also that the company had reduced workplace injuries by 58 percent over the past year.

The railroad company has 15 business days to comply, meet with OSHA's area director or object to the inspection´s findings to the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.

If you or your loved one has been injured in the workplace, it is in your best interest to contact an experienced Massachusetts workers' compensation lawyer.

Sources:

US Labor Department's OSHA cites Massachusetts Bay Commuter Railroad for workplace safety hazards at Somerville maintenance facility, OSHA Regional News, November 1, 2011

OSHA: Train yard in Somerville cited for 22 serious safety violations, www.wickedlocal.com, November 2, 2011

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