Construction workers have dangerous jobs. When these employees leave to go to work in the morning, they know that there is a significant chance that they may get hurt. A construction worker, who was filling in a trench for sewer pipes in the Boston area, was reminded of this dreadful fact on September 27th. Working on a site formerly known as a Volkswagen dealership, the 49-year old man became wedged in between a small Bobcat machine and a pipe when the Bobcat machine tipped over. It took thirty members of the technical rescue team from the Boston Fire Department to get him out of the property now owned by Harvard University. After forty minutes of being pinned in the trench, the worker was finally removed and may have a few broken bones according to the deputy of the fire department. He was taken to Beth Israel Hospital to be treated for his injuries.
Construction accidents, like the one mentioned above, occur frequently in the United States. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) indicates that there are a total of 4,206 worker fatalities in the private industry in the year 2010. Out of these fatalities, 774 or 18.7% are attributed to construction sites. The Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970 (OSH Act) was passed to “prevent workers from being killed or seriously harmed at work” and thereby created the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) to set and enforce protective workplace safety and health hazards. According to OSHA, falls, electrocutions, struck by an object, and caught-in/between are the top four reasons why construction workers are injured and die every year.
Workers who are involved in construction accidents are burdened with extensive costs associated with their injuries. Workers’ compensation can pay for such costs in exchange for you promising not to sue your employer. In Massachusetts, workers’ compensation will usually cover your medical costs, disability payments, 60% of your average income (or greater if you become disabled due to your accident), and other compensation (including coverage for permanent disfigurement or scars and loss of function). If you are a construction worker and your injury prevents you from returning to work, you may be able to receive paid-for vocational training to get another job. Immediate family members can recover death benefits if the worker was killed on the job.
Unfortunately, if you have suffered severe injuries, workers’ compensation may not cover all of your costs. There may be a party who can be held responsible for your accident other than your employer, such as an equipment manufacturer. If you believe that your workplace is at fault because they are not meeting OSHA guidelines, then you may file a complaint to have OSHA inspect your workplace. However, if you feel that your injury was caused by a third party, you may be able to recover from this third party for their negligence as well as receive your workers’ compensation benefits. We can help you file your workers compensation claim as well as other claims.
Source: Worker Rescued After Being Trapped by Machine, 7 News, September 27, 2012