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According to a recent news feature from CBS Boston, a construction worker was severely injured when he got his foot trapped in a cement mixer in Newton, Massachusetts.  Co-workers say that the injured employee was working around the machine when he slipped and his leg got trapped.

scaffold-1-1543984This was not a cement truck, but a smaller cement mixing machine that features a large screw or auger inside to mix the cement.  It was this auger that trapped his leg and was crushing it when another worker heard the screams and shut down the machine.  Continue reading

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Working at any construction or demolition site is dangerous work.  Every year, many workers are injured and killed on construction sites from accidents that involved being crushed by falling debris or materials, being run over by large construction equipment, being injured by power equipment, and other similar accidents.  When dealing with construction projects on skyscrapers, we see other types of serious accidents, including workers falling to their deaths from extreme heights.

helicopter-1450413According to a recent news feature from the Los Angeles Times, a worker was injured in a crane accident 270 feet above the ground and had to be rescued by a hoist from a helicopter. Witnesses say the 50-year-old crane operator suffered a serious injury on the job that made it impossible for him to climb down the ladder to safety and to get medical attention. Continue reading

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In Velecela v. All Habitat Servs., LLC, a case from the Connecticut Supreme Court, the claimant’s husband was working for employer.  His employment included repairing all terrain vehicles (ATVs).  One day at work, he had an ATV on a lift when the ATV slipped off the lift without any warning.  The ATV crushed employee when it fell off the lift, and he died as a result of his injuries.

workHis wife, who was the actual plaintiff in this case, since her husband died as a result of his on- the-job accident, was coming to meet her husband that day to bring him lunch, as she often did.  When she arrived at his place of employment, she was shocked and dismayed to find his dead body lying beneath the ATV, which had fallen off the lift. Continue reading

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According to a recent news feature from Mass Live, a worker in a factory in Ware was seriously injured due to an electrical explosion.  The workplace accident occurred last April, and the cause of this accident has been under investigation for the past few months.  It is common for the Massachusetts Department of Industrial Accidents (DIA) to work with local police to determine the cause of a serious on-the-job accident. The U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) typically gets involved and conducts an independent investigation following a serious or fatal industrial accident.  However, in this case, OSHA determined that there were not enough employees at the Ware plant for the agency to have jurisdiction, and, therefore, they did not conduct their own investigation.

welding-1387182-mIn this workplace accident, one employee was severely injured, another suffered what have been described as serious on-the-job injuries and a third was taken to the hospital from his job site, but was able to return to work that same day.  While authorities always knew that some type of electrical source caused the explosion, it is now known that the exact cause of the accident was an arc flash. The arc flash was created by a short in an electrical panel that was carrying more than 600 volts of currents. Continue reading

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Each winter, many people in Boston will head north to go skiing in Vermont and Maine.  Many will drive a couple of hours north to the big ski areas in southern Vermont like Stratton, and others will drive a bit farther up to Killington, which is a larger mountain and more popular with younger people.  There are even day trips on buses that leave from Boston every weekend in the winter.

spyndleruv-4-1484582While many people travel a great distance to ski in Vermont, there a lot of locals who work there to keep the mountain slopes running. Although there is a possibility of being injured with any job, these workers face some unique work site safety challenges. In cases where workers are injured, workers’ compensation may be paid.
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When we think of workers’ compensation, we typically think of someone getting hurt once he or she is already at work or on-the-clock.  There has been significant litigation about what happens when worker is injured on his or her way home from work or his or her way to work, and that is covered by what many jurisdictions refer to as the coming and going rule. It should be noted that, generally speaking, a worker is not entitled to workers’ compensation for travel to and from work absent special circumstances.

workHowever, it is close case when a worker is injured on the employer’s property, but before he or she has officially started work, or physically clocked in at a job that requires the use of a time clock.  A recent news feature from Business Insurance, a trade publication for the insurance industry, looks at a case involving a woman who was injured when she slipped and fell on an icy parking lot outside the childcare facility at which she worked.  Continue reading

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Investigators are working to piece together what happened to cause two workers to suffer serious on-the-job injuries during a demolition project in Quincy, Massachusetts. According to The Boston Globe, these workers were helping do a complete demolition of the once historic Wollaston Theatre.

constructionsite2Authorities say that the local fire inspectors have warned something like this could happen, due to the type of building and sad state of disrepair it had been in prior to the demolition project. A deputy fire chief said that with this type of historic structure, everything has to be in a very carefully planned order. Even when it seems all these plans are meticulously mapped out and followed, something can still still go badly wrong.

In the Quincy workplace accident, teams of investigators with the demolition company, the Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) and local health officials were working to determine what happened.  Continue reading

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The U.S. Department of Labor recently reached an agreement with U.S. Steel Corp. in which the company agrees to drop its policy of mandating workers immediately report injuries or illnesses or else face swift and severe punishment. whistle1

The problem was not so much that the company required workers to report injuries. In fact, that’s what OSHA wants. The issue was the back-handed policy’s negative effect on workers who might not have realized the severity of their condition right away.

That meant that any worker who didn’t report a workplace injury the moment it happened faced retaliation – up to and including termination – for reporting it later. That created an incentive not to report the injury at all, which is exactly what federal regulators do not want. Punishing workers who report injuries is a violation of whistleblower statutes.  Continue reading

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Employers in Boston and throughout the U.S. will have additional time to make sure they are compliant with the new anti-retaliation rules handed down by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).sad1

The agency recently announced it would delay its enforcement of the action, which will have an impact on workplace drug testing and certain safety incentives. Instead of enforcing the action in August, as originally intended, the agency won’t start ensuring those anti-retaliation and record-keeping provisions are in place until November.

The new anti-retaliation rule is part of an effort to block companies from discouraging workers from reporting workplace illnesses or injuries. Continue reading

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Demolition workers helping to tear down the former Wollaston Theatre in Quincy, Mass. were seriously injured after they became trapped when a wall fell on top of them. wall1

According to Masslive.com, the incident happened just south of Boston at a place that was once known by locals as, “The Wolly.” It opened in 1926, but was being torn down after it had fallen into disrepair and the site purchased in 2012.

The structural collapse incident at the 90-year-old landmark occurred when a 15-foot wall made of brick and steel collapsed during the demolition process. One worker was trapped on the ground and another hurt his arm after he jumped from a cherry picker. The man on the ground was reportedly stuck under 4 feet of brick and steel. Firefighters believe a steel beam probably saved his life. His torso and below were completely buried.  Continue reading