The police had been called to the site to investigate a fall.

A worker died Oct. 6 at a construction site on Sumner Street in East Boston near Maverick Square, where a multi-story residential structure is being built.

Boston Police Department detectives and Occupational Safety and Health Administration investigators are looking into the cause of the accident.

You probably won’t be surprised to hear that work injuries have been on the work truckdecline. The frequency of workers’ compensation claims has been decreasing over the past decade. Advances in technology, such as robotics and automation, have made workplaces safer.

However, one category of work injury—vehicle accidents—has been on the rise since 2011, according to a National Council on Compensation Insurance report.

You might be wondering what happened in 2011 that sparked such a trend.

When a Connecticut construction worker suffers serious injuries on a jobsite in Massachusetts, which state’s law applies to any ensuing litigation?

The Massachusetts Appeals Court recently considered this issue.scaffold

The case focuses on workers’ compensation insurance. On July 6, 2020, a three-judge appeals court panel held had the construction worker filed a negligence suit in Massachusetts Superior Court against out-of-state contractors he blamed for his work injury, the worker would be able to sue under Massachusetts’ three-year statute of limitations, even though he lives in Connecticut.

The panel called the issue “straightforward.”

One lesson that can be learned from the court’s ruling is that lawsuits—especially ones that involve out-of-state parties and incidents—can be complicated. A skilled construction site injury attorney can analyze the specific facts of your case and advise as to where the case should be brought to achieve the best possible outcome. Continue reading

The novel coronavirus has wreaked havoc, especially when it comes to the workplace.Boston workers' compensation

Businesses classified as nonessential have been forced to close their doors, while those considered essential have continued operation but under a new set of rules.

Along with other states, Massachusetts has established safety standards that workplaces must follow as they open to reduce the transmission of the virus among workers and customers. The safety standards include things like social distancing, hygiene, and cleaning and disinfecting.

Stricter rules apply to certain industries such as construction, manufacturing, hair salons, barbershops, pet grooming, and offices.

Regardless of social distancing, regular disinfecting, and other safety precautions, workers are at risk of contracting COVID-19 when they work. Essential workers, such as healthcare workers, grocery workers, and mass transit workers, have been at risk for months. Continue reading

Immigrant workers and Massachusetts employee advocates are demanding the passage of a bill aiming to protect injured employees from workplace retaliation (including deportation threat) for reporting on-the-job injuries.Boston workers' compensation

SD1182/HD2947 would limit companies’ ability to work their way out of paying Massachusetts workers’ compensation benefits by reporting employees who are not U.S. citizens. It’s called An Act to Protect Injured Workers.

Our Boston workers’ compensation attorneys know that these benefits are critical to those hurt at work, allowing them coverage of medical bills and a portion of their lost wages when they can’t work due to job-related injury or illness. The concept is more than 100-years-old in Boston, with workers forfeiting their right to pursue legal action against employers for negligence resulting in work injury in exchange for employers agreeing to a no-fault compensation system wherein workers can receive help so long as they can show their injuries happened in the course and scope of employment. Continue reading

Massachusetts construction companies are focusing on the risks created by opioid use and addiction and the role these drugs play in work injuries.

The Massachusetts chapter of Associated General Contractors sponsored a statewide opioid awareness day on June 5, to draw attention to the impact the opioid crisis is having on the construction industry in New England. Workplace overdoses have increased by 25 percent each year for the last 5 years. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that unintentional overdose is now responsible for 5 percent of all workplace deaths, claiming nearly 300 lives each year.

Opioid addiction was declared a public health emergency in 2017, after the Centers for Disease Control reported opioid deaths surpassed motor-vehicle accidents as the leading cause of accidental death in the United States. However, construction workers face some of the highest risks.  Construction workers are at six times greater risk that the average Massachusetts worker, according to the Massachusetts Department of Public Health, and now account for 25 percent of workplace opioid deaths. Boston Workers' Comp

AGC has produced a manual to help contractors identify and mitigate the use of opioids at construction sites. Common signs include constricted or “pinpoint pupils,” falling asleep or losing consciousness, slow or shallow breathing, choking or gurgling sounds, blue or cold skin, and limp extremities.

Our Massachusetts workers’ compensation lawyers know many construction workers become addicted to painkillers while seeking legitimate treatment for work-related injuries. In some cases, a doctor or medical professional may have inappropriately prescribed potent narcotics for too long a period of time. In other cases, a medical professional may withhold or eliminate a patient’s access to pain medication, forcing injured or addicted workers to turn to street narcotics to manage the pain. Prescription opioids may include hydrocodone, oxycodone and morphine, while illicit opioids most commonly include heroin and fentanyl.

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Sixty-nine workers were killed on the job in Massachusetts last year, according to the Boston Real Estate Times. It is the third year in a row Massachusetts has reported a near-record number of serious and fatal injuries to employees in the workplace.construction falls

A total of 59 Massachusetts employees died on the job, as well as 10 firefighters who died from work-related disease, according to the report “Dying for Work in Massachusetts: The Loss of Life and Limb in Massachusetts Workplaces” by the Massachusetts Coalition for Occupational Safety and Health.

While causation can be more difficult to prove in work-related disease claims, the fact is such claims, as well as those involving repetitive movement and degenerative conditions that grow worse over time, account for a substantial number of Massachusetts workers’ compensation claims each year. The report notes occupational diseases claim an estimated 50,000 lives a year– many more lives than those that are documented.

ABC5 News reports a Rockland industrial accident severed a 66-year-old man’s arm at the elbow after it was caught and pulled into the gears while he was working on a machine.

Massachusetts workers’ compensation lawyers know amputation injuries are common across a number of New England industries, including manufacturing and farming. While many resources for recovery exist for victims of traumatic amputation,  a comprehensive legal and medical approach is best deployed when it comes to obtaining all of the benefits to which a victim is entitled. Amputationinjury-270x300

In this case an employee used a t-shirt as a makeshift tourniquet until medical help arrived and transported the man to South Shore Hospital in Weymouth. The Boston Herald reported that quick thinking Rockland police officers saved the man’s life by providing additional emergency medical care.

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The U.S. Department of Labor is suing a Boston construction company for allegedly retaliating against an injured worker by having him arrested by immigration authorities. Our Boston work injury attorneys know immigrants are among the most vulnerable members of the workforce. Often working dangerous jobs, for law pay, off the books with no benefits. We want you to know our laws offer both financial help and legal protection if you suffer injury on the job, regardless of your immigration status.

The complaint was filed last month with the U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts and alleges Tara Construction Inc. caused an employee to be arrested and detained by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement after the man was injured in a fall on the job. He was seriously injured after falling from a ladder in March 2017 and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration initiated an investigation into the workplace accident. Shortly thereafter he was arrested by immigrations officials as he left the work office.ladderfall-226x300

Section 11(c) of the Occupational Safety and Health Act protects workers who report an injury to an employer or who cause an OSHA inquiry. Law enforcement accounts indicate a company representative told a police officer when the employee would be present and that there were no objections to the arrest. Text messages back up those claims, according to the government’s case.

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Regulators are focusing on work-safety issues within the health care industry, where more workers suffer illness or injury than in any other career field.

Common risks include contact with hazardous chemicals or biological materials; exposure to radiation, x-rays and radioactive material; ergonomic and lifting hazards; violence; and exposure to contagious disease. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration reports more than 650,000 health-care employment injury cases are reported annually, some 25 percent more than manufacturing, which is the industry sector with the second-highest number of on-the-job injuries or illnesses.3mspraymount-138829-m-300x225

Our Boston workers’ compensation attorneys know it’s not just medical staff who are at risk, as non-medical personnel, including maintenance, housekeeping, groundskeeping, food service and administrative staff, also face above-average risk. However, nurses, aides, orderlies and attendants are at particularly high risk. These employees reported musculoskeletal disorders at a rate of 249 per 10,000 workers, compared to the national average of 34 injuries per 10,000 workers.

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