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Employer Neglects Safety Procedures; Worker Fatally Injured As A Result

It’s an all-too-familiar scenario: an employer neglects to follow proper safety procedures and a worker is subsequently injured.

Such was the case for an excavation worker in Longmeadow this summer. Davide Nascimento was working on the installation of a sewer line along Hazardville Road in Longmeadow, when a portion of roadway collapsed and broke a six-inch water main pipe causing an instant flood of the excavation and Nascimento to drown.

An inspection by the Springfield Area Office of U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration revealed that Nascimento’s Ludlow-based employer A. Martin & Son Construction, Inc. did not take adequate measures to protect the water line against damage. Inspectors also found that the company also did not inspect the excavation for evidence of a situation that could result in a cave-in, such as damage from the previous night’s rainstorm that weakened excavation walls.

Springfield area director Mary Hoye said, “Mr. Nascimento would not have died had his employer followed proper procedures to identify and eliminate excavation hazards. Trenching and excavation operations are among the most dangerous in construction work. Employers must educate themselves and employees on trenching safeguards, including cave-in protection and having a competent person on-site to identify hazards and promptly correct any hazards.”

OSHA consequently cited A. Martin & Son Construction this month, for two serious violations of workplace safety standards. Each citation carries a proposed penalty of $7,000, the maximum fine for a serious violation.

By OSHA standards, employers are responsible for ensuring their employees work in a safe and hazard-free environment, and have the proper training and tools to do their job safely as well as identify any dangerous threats to themselves and their co-workers.

When an individual is injured or killed on the job, by law, the employer must report the incident to OSHA for a complete investigation. Additionally in Massachusetts, when a worker suffers a workplace injury, he or she is supposed to be covered by Workers’ Compensation Benefits. These benefits were established to guarantee a worker and his or her family compensation for medical bills, disability payments and lost wages, as well as compensation for permanent injuries, disfigurement, scars, as well as death benefits. Acquiring these benefits can sometimes be challenging, and it is most advised that you speak to a licensed Workers’ Compensation Attorney to discuss your options after you have been involved in a workplace incident.

At the law offices of Altman & Altman, our team of experienced Workers’ Compensation Attorneys has nearly five decades of experience handling workers’ compensation and work injury cases. We will thoroughly investigate your work injury case and examine all avenues of recovery for you and your family, including helping you access the finest healthcare available in the Commonwealth. Additionally, we will determine whether other parties are liable for your injury, such as the manufacturer of a defective piece of equipment or a negligent contractor, and we can file claims or lawsuits against all responsible parties so that you receive the compensation you deserve. If you or a loved one was injured or killed at work, do not hesitate to call one of the seasoned attorneys at Altman & Altman. Our attorneys are available around the clock to assist you and all initial consultations are free and confidential.
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