Articles Tagged with Boston work accidents

In Boston, a worker injured on the job is entitled to workers’ compensation benefits so long as they are an employee within the meaning of the the workers’ compensation act found in Chapter 152, Section 1 of the Massachusetts General Laws (M.G.L).  The question that often arises is whether the worker was actually on-the-job at the time of the injury.  This can be even more complex when the employee is given a company-owned vehicle or when the injury occurs in the parking lot of the worker’s place of employment.

In the context of company-owned vehicles, some jobs offer the “benefit” of a take home car, meaning the employee can drive the business’s car home at the end of a shift and take it back the next day.  This is not so much a “company car” as we see on TV with high-paying jobs, but more like a police car or other type of service vehicle.

Boston workplace InjuriesAccording to a recent news article from NECN, a worker employed by the City of Boston was sitting in a vehicle owned by his employer, the city, when someone approached and shot him.  Authorities have said the injured worker was in his neighborhood at the time of the shooting on his way to work and is a 54-year-old man who works for Department of Public Works (DPW).  Continue reading

The greater Boston area has a serious problem with opioid addiction among broad sectors of industry. In some cases, it’s heroin and other illicit street drugs. However, we are also seeing a major problem with an addition to prescription painkillers among injured workers, according to a recent news article from the Lowell Sun.

needleThis statewide problem has gotten to the point where Governor Charlie Baker and his administration have decided to start a two-year pilot program. This pilot program is for workers in Boston and around the Commonwealth who have already settled their workers’ compensation cases. All of the workers who will participate in this program are currently being treated with opioid-based painkillers for their on-the-job injuries. Continue reading

According to a recent news report from the Press of Atlantic City, two workers were injured after a diesel tank exploded at a local high school.  Fortunately, there were no students or staff injured in the explosion, but one of these two workers was seriously injured.

welding-1387182-mAuthorities have said the employee was working for a company that performs environmental engineering services.  This worker was using a power saw to cut into an old diesel tank when, without warning, the tank burst into flames.  Witnesses say the flames shot as high as 30 feet into the sky.  When the tank ignited, this worker was thrown back about five feet from the tank and landed on the ground. Continue reading

We often hear in the news this time of year about people are injured as result of using amateur fireworks.  Even though fireworks are illegal in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, many people will drive to other states and buy them for use on various holidays including the Fourth of July and New Year’s Eve.  While some neighboring states like Pennsylvania will sell consumer fireworks that can spark on the ground, some southern states such as South Carolina will sell mortars similar to the ones used by professional fireworks presenters, though typically much smaller in size.

welding-1387182-mFor many reasons, including the risk of causing personal injury, starting a fire, or being arrested, it is best to leave fireworks to the professionals. However, being a professional pryotechnician or apprentice can be a very dangerous job and one that often results in on-the-job injuries such as the one discussed in a recent news feature from WGN.  As discussed in that article, a professional fireworks demonstration was canceled when a fireworks installer was injured while helping to set up for the show. Continue reading

According to a recent news feature from News 7 Boston, a worker was injured on the Medford-Everett line when a crane flipped over completely.  Authorities say the project was located at the border between the two Boston area suburbs at a bridge along the Revere Beach Parkway just north of the city.

mSeL02uIt was the end of the workday when workers were putting away their equipment before heading home for the night.  The crane with that they were working was not properly balanced and contained around 200 gallons of diesel fuel, which shifted, causing the crane to flip completely over.  The operator of the crane was still inside the control cabin when it flipped over, and he was trapped in the cab.  He had also broken his arm during the fall.  Continue reading

Workers’ compensation in Massachusetts is generally what we consider a “no-fault” system. That means that if you are injured on-the-job in Boston, workers’ compensation benefits can still be paid to you no matter how the accident occurred or who was at-fault. But there are a few exceptions to this, and one of the biggest is when the employer has reason to believe the accident was caused by the injured worker’s use of alcohol and/or drugs.drinkinggirl

For this reason, companies started to make it standard practice to test workers for drugs and alcohol after an accident. But this has been met with mixed response from the courts. For example, the Ohio Supreme court struck down a part of state workers’ compensation law that allowed employers to automatically test workers for drugs and alcohol after a work injury, finding it a violation of workers’ Fourth Amendment rights against unreasonable searches. Another case in West Virginia resulted in the same finding after a worker who injured his back was ordered to under drug and alcohol screening five days after the work accident.

Now, the issue has been raised again in the wake of the Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA)s newest rules to prompt better reporting of all workplace injuries. Now, effective August 10, 2016, employers across the country are required to have a “reasonable procedure” for workers to report work-related injuries and illnesses both promptly and accurately. The rule forbids this procedure from discouraging or deterring an employee from accurately reporting a work-related injury or illness. Additionally, the rule specifically bars retaliation for a worker who reports workplace injuries or illnesses. Per this new standard, companies that require or request post-accident alcohol and/ or drug testing are going to face down additional scrutiny from OSHA under the new Final Rule to Improve Tracking of Workplace Injuries and Illnesses because such post-incident testing may deter reporting of the injury.  Continue reading