Articles Posted in Construction Accident

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In Boston construction accidents, there are often a number of various routes of recovery victims may pursue. First and foremost, there is workers’ compensation, which are benefits obtained by one’s own employer. However, these benefits are generally limited to medical expenses and a portion of lost wages. Exclusivity rules written into workers’ compensation law prevent an employee from suing an employer for more than that, and co-workers are generally protected by this too. But beyond that, there may be opportunity to pursue third-party liability action. construction workers

Third party liability lawsuits are especially prevalent in construction accident cases for two reasons:

  • The personal injuries are often quite severe, so the stakes are high.
  • There are numerous companies and individuals that have a hand in a construction project at any given time.

Liability for worker injuries depends on a myriad of factors, including whether the company in question owed some duty of care to the plaintiff.  Continue reading

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According to a recent news feature form the Daily News, a Massachusetts man who suffered a broken back and skull fracture has filed a lawsuit against the New York City Building Department. The victim was injured when a tower crane fell off a tall building that was being constructed, and landed on the his parked car while he was still inside.  This resulted in the car being crushed. Plaintiff suffered serious and permanent personal injury.  He is asking for $30 million in damages for medical bills, pain and suffering, lost wages and more.

825017_crash_carThe reason he is naming the city building department as a defendant is due to the allegations that the agency was negligent in connection with its responsibility to monitor the job site and crane safety. Continue reading

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According to a recent news report from CBS, a large construction crane fell to the street as it was being lowered from a tall building. As it was being lowered, it somehow broke into pieces, and those large pieces of metal fell to the street below. This was captured on cellphone video taken by someone in another building.

1172422_police_on_the_sceneWhen the crane pieces landed on the street, they crushed several cars, injured three people and killed a Wall Street worker employed at an electronic trading firm. Two of the of three victims who were injured sustained substantial bodily injury as a result of the crane accident. Continue reading

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Falling or flying objects are a common hazard faced by construction workers.
In fact, our Boston construction accident lawyers note struck-by accidents are one of the four deadliest dangers found on construction sites, according to the Occupational Safety & Health Administration.

More than 25 percent of all deaths in construction are the result of struck-by accidents, which also account for about 10 percent of all occupational deaths.
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Phase 1 of the construction project to extend the Green Line was kicked off recently by the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA). According to Governor Deval Patrick, the Green Line will now travel to Somerville and Medford.
“The Green Line extension means expanded employment opportunity, housing opportunity and recreational opportunity,” said Governor Patrick.

Our Somerville personal injury attorneys understand that the construction project includes two railroad bridges to help to connect the Green Line to the outer area. And that’s only Phase 1 at a cost of $13 million. To get the project done, officials will have to demolish a building in Cambridge as well.

Barletta Heavy Division will be contracting the project. Throughout the duration, crews will be reconstructing Medford Street Bridge and the Harvard Street Bridge. Overall, the project is expected to cost more than $1.1 billion.

In the U.S., there were more than 1,000 people killed in vehicle accidents that occurred in a construction work zone last year.

One of the most important things in helping to ensure everyone’s safety in these work zones is to keep an eye on your speed. According to MassHighway Traffic Engineering, lane width can make a difference, too! Officials say that narrowing lanes helps to make drivers travel more slowly and cautiously.

Helping Motorists Navigate Safely:

-Education: The public should be notified about what construction is going on in the area. By letting travelers know, they can choose alternative routes to avoid the area.

-Signage: Temporary signs help to declare the presence of a work zone. This will give them more time to slow down and to react.

-Barrier: These will help to keep traffic away from workers.

-Police Presence: Just the sight of an officer helps to keep drivers on their best behavior. Officers serve as an effective deterrent for irresponsible driving habits.

-Accommodations: Making sure that pedestrians, bicyclists and other transit can get through the area is a sure way to help to halt any kind of accidents.
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Our Boston Car Accident Attorneys recently discussed the launch of the overnight closures of Interstate 93. With those closures and with other roadwork that is being executed throughout the state, we’d like to shine some light on National Work Zone Awareness Week.

According to the Official Website of the Executive Office of Public Safety and Security, this week-long campaign will be taking place from April 23rd through the 27th. During the campaign, traffic officials will be focusing on motorists’ driving habits through work zones in an attempt to help protect the lives of roadway workers and to help to prevent car accidents in Boston and elsewhere.
“This campaign will remind drivers to slow down, be aware of their surroundings and protect the lives of the workers around them,” said Richard A. Davey, MassDOT’s CEO and Secretary.

Our Massachusetts personal injury attorneys understand that officers throughout the state practice a zero-tolerance policy for irresponsible driving near construction and roadwork sites. Officers with the Massachusetts State Police will also be using this time to strictly enforce speed limits through these work zones. Motorists beware and be safe!

Back in November of 2011, the Massachusetts State Police, Governor Deval Patrick, the Executive Office of Public Safety and Security, Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT) and both federal and state officials announced a pilot program to nab dangerous drivers in work zones by targeting motorists who speed.

This initiative was federally funded through MassDOT’s Highway Safety Improvement Program and EOPSS and was the result of an extreme spike in the number of accidents in work sites. These accidents were most commonly the result of speedy and distracted drivers. With the recent increase in the number of construction workers along our roadways as well as the number of officers and cruisers hit by speedy drivers, the Construction Industries of Massachusetts and State Police joined up with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the Federal Highway Administration, MassDOT and EOPSS to create an initiative to step up speed enforcement in work areas statewide. The enforcement effort lasted for about 10 weeks. During that time, nearly 4,000 traffic stops were made for various violations within work zones. With these stops, there were about 2,000 citations issued.

Every April, Massachusetts and other states participate in National Work Zone Awareness Week to focus attention on motorist and worker safety and mobility issues in work zones nationwide. Officials believe that this effort is paying off as the number of fatal work zone accidents has declined significantly, from more than 1,000 in 2006 to just fewer than 600 in 2010. The work’s far from over though. Until we are able to work and travel in these areas safely, the work and the enforcement will continue. Drivers are asked to please be extremely cautious when driving through these areas to help avoid a potentially fatal accident.
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Winter isn’t too nice to our roadways and sidewalks. The snow, ice and freezing-cold temps can wreak havoc on these surfaces, causing bumps, cracks and other serious dangers. To help fix this problem, Mayor Thomas M. Menino announced the “Mark It’ campaign. How it works is that the Boston Department of Transportation will be searching neighborhoods across the city looking for areas that were hit hard by the winter weather.

Officials will be looking to reinstall traffic turn arrows, lane lines, crosswalks, symbols in school zones, double yellow lines and other roadway and sidewalk makings that were damaged during this past winter. This effort will be joining the city’s $20 million Road Renewal program, which aims to reconstruct or repave nearly 40 miles of roadways that were damaged in the winter weather, according to the City of Boston‘s website. The goal of this program, aside from making our city more beautiful is to help to reduce the risks of injury in Boston.
“After such a harsh winter, I’m dedicated to ensuring all Bostonians have a safe commute through our city,” said Mayor Menino.

Our Massachusetts personal injury lawyers understand that the new program will be focusing heavily on reinstalling crosswalks, especially in areas that are near community centers, schools, senior centers and parks. The program will be visiting more than 600 crosswalks throughout the city. Smooth and safe walking surfaces are an important part of the city. In a city that relies heavily on pedestrian and bicycle travel, it’s important to keep these walkways safe for all.

In addition to the more than 600 crosswalks, officials will also be improving about a quarter of all of the city’s intersections and will be laying down new reflective thermoplastic material as the new markings. Areas with more pedestrian traffic, like areas near Fenway Park and Kenmore Square, will be receiving treatment first.

The intersections near the Mildred Avenue Community Center and Walker Park have already received the new additions of the new highly reflective thermoplastic crosswalks.

Transportation Commissioner Thomas Tinlin says that there are crews who are looking over areas in the city that need improvement. These crews are prioritizing jobs.

In the spring, the city will launch a new pilot program that will be repairing large cracks on our roadways that are 5 to 10-years-old in such a way to extend their usable lifetime by 7 additional years. This preventative program will be looking at roadways in neighborhoods throughout the city. Officials predict that this program could help to save the city millions.

To help to eliminate confusion on travelers’ behalf, the city will be sending out notifications to residents regarding which areas will be worked on when. The notifications will also be used as a way to communicate with businesses and residents to help make sure that any private utility work they’re planning doesn’t conflict with the city’s repair efforts.
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As spring is upon us, many construction projects have begun and are in full swing. In light of the season, April has been marked as National Safe Digging Month, an event coordinated by the Common Ground Alliance.

The month-long event was created to raise awareness and increase the emphasis on safe digging across the nation. Diggers, for both construction and residential purposes, are urged to call 811 before digging into the ground to check for possible gas or electrical lines. By making this one simple call to locate potential dangers under the ground, work accidents in Massachusetts and elsewhere in the United States can be prevented.
Our Boston workers compensation attorneys urge you to join the awareness efforts. Calling 811 before you dig will not only help you to prevent potential injury, but it can also help you to prevent property damage and inconvenient power outages.

So how does 811 work? All you have to do it dial 8-1-1 a few days before you’ve planned to start digging. Once you’ve informed the operator about where you’ll be digging and what type of work you’ll be doing, they’ll send a locator out to the site to mark the approximate location of pipes, cables and underground wires so you’ll know what’s below and will be able to dig safely.

The United States Department of Transportation claims these accidents are 100 percent preventable with the proper use of this service. They remind everyone, contractors, neighbors, landscapers — EVERYONE — to take the initiative to plan your dig with mapping provided by 811.

The “811 Before You Dig” program offers you these campaign tools to help you spread the word about National Safe Digging Month. Many of these campaign materials can be customized with your own business logo.

For even more detailed information or a complete list of the Massachusetts digging laws visit the Dig Safe System, Inc. website.
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A.C. Castle Construction Co. Inc. of Danvers and C.I.L. Inc have been cited for various violations of workplace safety by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). The United States Department of Labor reports the companies exposed employees to fall and electrocution hazards, as well as higher-than-average injury and illness rates. OHSA’s Site-Specific Targeting Program directs inspections to workplaces with higher-than-average injury and illness rates and found these companies to be high-risk zones for a work accident in Boston and nearby areas.

Our Boston personal injury lawyers would like to stress the importance of a safe working environment. Ever since the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, employers are help responsible for providing safe workplaces for all their employees. While these conditions are required by law, proper compensation and care is not always provided by the employer. That is why you’re encouraged to consult an experienced attorney to help ensure your rights are protected in the event of a workplace injury.
A serious workplace violation occurs when there is substantial probability that serious physical harm or death could result from a hazard. Both of the Massachusetts companies were cited for unsafe work conditions, OSHA handed out fines totaling nearly $100,000.

The A.C. Castle Construction Co. Inc. of Danvers just received 21 repeat and serious violations of workplace safety standards, according to the U.S. Department of Labor. The roofing contractor also is reported to have failed to provide safe work conditions for their on-site employees, allegedly exposing employees to fall and electrocution hazards at a residential work site. Employees were observed working without fall protection on the building’s roof and on a ladder jack scaffold, exposing them to falls of nearly 19 feet, according to a recent OSHA press release. The company was also cited for additional fall hazards for employees using or working on damaged, misused, unsecured or inadequate ladders.

The company plant of C.I.L. Inc. was also cited and fined by OSHA for repeat and serous violations. C.I.L. Inc. provides metal finishing, anodizing and hard coat services. The company was cited for the use of unapproved electrical equipment in an area where flammable paints and solvents are mixed, excess air pressure for a cleaning hose, unlabeled electric circuits and inadequate ventilation in an area where flammable materials are stored, according to the Department of Labor.

“These citations address basic construction safety hazards that should not have existed in the first place. They should be of vital concern to all employers whose workers labor at heights and near power lines,” said Jeffrey A. Erskine, OSHA’s area director for Essex and Middlesex counties. “Employers should take the time to perform a spring tuneup, including reviewing their safety programs, equipment, employee training and applicable OSHA regulations to ensure that their workers are effectively protected against falls and other hazards.”

Both employers can contest the findings before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission within 15 business days from the receipt of their citations.
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Two Massachusetts firefighters were called to the scene of a Boston work accident to find an electrical worker trapped in a concrete pillar. The T work crew member was reportedly shutting off a rail for highway contractors when he stepped on a crumbling wooden plank and fell 35 feet into the hollow concrete beam, according to The Boston Herald.

Boston workers’ compensation lawyers understand the potential dangers that come with these demanding occupations; It is the responsibility of the employer to properly provide proper safety equipment and adequate compensation should an employee be injured on the job.

In pain, but still conscious, the electrical worker used his radio to contact the Operations Control Center at roughly 4 a.m. after making the 35-foot plunge. Once rescue workers arrived, it took them nearly three hours to harness up and pull out the worker through the shaft, which at times was as small as 2 feet by 2 feet.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration estimated that more than 4,000 workers died on the job in 2009.

“Absolutely (this was an error). They should be covered in steel or some other substance that can hold the weight of at least a person. Obviously, this wood did not,” said General manager Richard A. Davey. “I have ordered a complete review of the entire right of way to ensure that there are no others out there.”

It is important for your employer to properly maintain the working conditions on the job site and in the office building in effort to reduce the risk of injury in the workplace. If injury still results, it is the responsibility of the employer to provide for medical care, lost wages and other compensation.
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