A report coauthored by the Massachusetts Coalition for Occupational Safety and Health and the Massachusetts AFL-CIO found that 80 Massachusetts workers died in 2007 because of injuries sustained while at work or because of work-related illnesses. The report is called “Dying for Work in Massachusetts.”
The most dangerous industry for Massachusetts workers continues to be construction and firefighting. 20 construction workers died while on the job last year, while 9 Massachusetts firefighters died, most of them due to work-related illnesses. Other industries in Massachusetts with a high number of worker fatalities in 2007 are transportation, fishing, utility work, and motor vehicle repair.
Stress on the job reportedly led to six deadly heart attacks. Three of these fatalities were 38-year-old firefighters. 19 worker deaths were caused by fall accidents.
Two 17-year-old construction workers were among 2007’s worker fatalities. A 71-year old mechanic was recorded as the oldest person to die last year due to a worker injury. One telecommunications worker with Verizon was electrocuted and died in Plymouth when his bucket struck high voltage wires.
Some people have expressed worries that certain companies are prioritizing productivity over worker safety. For example, the bucket used by the telecommunication worker that died was not insulated.
Work safety advocates believe that many of last year’s deaths could have been avoided if workers had been given the proper gear, equipment, and training. For instance, the 17-year-old construction worker that died in a fall accident was not using a safety harness when he fell from a Salem church roof last year.
Although Massachusetts workers’ compensation law provides injured workers and their families with financial compensation, the recovery may not cover all expenses and losses.
80 people in Massachusetts died of workplace injury in 2007, Associated Press/Boston Herald, April 29, 2008
80 work fatalities in state last year, Boston.com, April 29, 2008
Related Web Resources:
Massachusetts Coalition for Occupational Safety and Health
Read the Report “Dying for Work in Massachusetts” (PDF)
Our Boston workers’ compensation law firm can make sure that you are paid all of the workers’ compensation that you are owed in a timely manner. We can also determine whether there are any negligent third parties.
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