This past week, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) began investigating the recent death of an employee at Boston Bridge & Steel, Inc. The employee was killed when a massive steel beam fell on him at the company’s East Boston facility. The Suffolk County District Attorney’s office has also been investigating the death, while spokesmen from the employer have stated that the victim died as a result of an accident rather than of foul play. While workplace safety is always of preeminent concern to employers, victims of falling objects and machinery accidents are often seriously injured.
The 12,000 pound steel beam collapsed on the worker requiring nearly 5 hours to recover the victim’s body. OSHA has been reviewing the safety precautions in effect at the victim’s workplace prior to the incident. While the number of employee injuries has decreased since 2010, the statistics do not demonstrate that work-sites are any safer. Rather, the statistics indicate that precautionary measures have proven effective and that many employers have adopted a more intense focus on worker safety.
During last year, 2012, there were 4,383 fatal work injuries in the United States. This represents a significant reduction from the 4,693 such deaths sustained in 2011, which, in turn, were fewer than had occurred in 2010. The number of workers who died on the job last year was the second lowest annual number of such deaths since the government started recording this statistic in 1992.
As worksite fatalities have been declining, and employers have become more educated regarding necessary safety precautions, construction and factory jobs remain tremendously dangerous. The falling steel beam accident comes in the wake of an incident that occurred at a work site in Downtown Crossing just two weeks ago, where a construction worker was injured by a scissor lift. The worker died of his injuries at the hospital. OSHA is investigating the incident and hopes to discover whether the employer was not maintaining a safe worksite or if the injuries were sustained as a result of a terrible accident.
OSHA publishes regulations which outline specific requirements by which employers must abide. The regulations include an employer’s duty of compliance with the safety standards set forth by the administration and require employers to take reasonable steps in protecting every worker on the jobsite. If you or a loved one has been a victim of an employer’s delinquency of OSHA’s safety standards or has been hurt in an accident at the work place, it is essential to speak with an experienced workers’ compensation attorney. An experienced workers’ compensation attorney can offer the essential and helpful counsel needed to recover payment of wages, medical expenses and other measures of damages.
To learn more about Workers’ Compensation and what to do if you or a loved one has suffered a workplace fatality then contact the Workers’ Compensation attorneys at Parker | Scheer LLP.