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Fatal Construction Accidents in Massachusetts are on the Rise

In a 2015 study conducted by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), construction-related fatalities increased nearly six percent in 2014 compared to the previous year. In fact, at 874 reported deaths, 2014 had the highest total since 2008. Many of these fatalities occur in major cities, such as Boston and New York, due to the nature of building projects in these areas. Skyscrapers are being erected at staggering rates, and the heavy machinery and extreme heights inherent to these projects come with great risk. Contact a Massachusetts Workers’ Compensation Lawyer Today.

According to the BLS, Nearly One-Fifth of Workplace Fatalities Involve Construction Workers

Construction has long held the title of most dangerous occupation, but certain aspects of construction work are riskier than others. Excavating, for example, is one of the more dangerous types of construction due to the risk of ground collapse. Roofing and other high-elevation work always comes with a risk of falling, the most common cause of construction-related fatalities.

Common Causes of Construction-Related Fatalities

Construction workers face hazards every day. Some of the more dangerous situations involve:

  • Falling objects
  • Roof collapses
  • Falls from high places, including roofs, ladders, and scaffolding
  • Defective or poorly maintained heavy machinery
  • Negligent machine operation
  • Exposed electrical wiring
  • Chemical explosion
  • Safety Gear and Training Are Essential to Reduce Serious Injuries and Deaths

Of the 874 fatalities in 2014, 349 were due to falls, 74 workers were electrocuted, 73 were struck by an object, and 12 were killed after becoming caught in an object. The reality is, most of these accidents are preventable, but without proper safety gear and training, the number of annual fatalities will continue to rise. Safety gear consists of a lot more than a hard hat and a back brace. Workers should be equipped with appropriate safety harnesses, welding masks, safety goggles, gloves, and boots. All workers should be adequately and regularly trained on safety procedures. An on-site construction manager should monitor workers to ensure that safety standards are followed rigorously at all times.

Construction unions blame the rise of nonunion labor for the uptick in accidents. They contend that qualified construction workers are less common than their cheaper, less-skilled counterparts. Whether or not that’s true is up for debate, but one thing is for certain. Thorough, comprehensive, ongoing training is essential, union worker or not.  With proper training, adequate safety gear, adherence to safety protocol, well-maintained machinery, and qualified supervision, we can dramatically reduce the risk of serious injury and death on construction sites.

Altman & Altman, LLP – Premier Workers’ Compensation Law Firm Serving all of Massachusetts

If you have been injured in an on-the-job accident, the workers’ comp team at Altman & Altman, LLP can help ensure that you receive the benefits you deserve in a timely manner. Most work-related injuries are covered by workers’ comp but common application errors can result in long delays and reduced benefits. In addition, if negligence played a role in your injuries, you may be entitled to compensation over and above what workers’ comp provides. The attorneys at Altman & Altman, LLP have extensive experience in this area. We have been protecting workers’ rights for over 50 years. If you’ve been injured, we can help. Don’t go through this alone. Contact us today for a free consultation about your case.

 

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