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Articles Posted in Construction Accidents

Falls to a lower level are the number one cause of construction-site fatalities. With proper safety training, site maintenance and the right equipment, these accidents are largely preventable. In order to educate construction workers and employers about these dangers and reduce annual construction-site injuries and fatalities, OSHA has enacted a national fall prevention campaign.

OSHA’s campaign serves to educate and raise awareness about falls from high places, such as roofs, ladders, and scaffolds. Of 828 total construction-related fatalities in 2013, 291 were due to falls.  OSHA has partnered with the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health and the National Occupational Research Agenda to educate as many construction workers and employers as possible. By following three simple steps, construction-site falls can be easily prevented. Continue reading

In October of 2014, three Massachusetts roofers were hospitalized following a scaffolding accident that took place at their worksite. The accident in question was easily preventable, considering the fact that these three men were standing atop a plank of spruce that was very clearly marked as being unsafe for scaffolding use. The plank broke, causing the three roofers to fall over two stories to the ground. Their collective and individual injuries were extensive, of which included injuries to the eye, spine, face, chest, rib fractures, broken bones, broken ribs, and a punctured lung. The company that employed these men had been in violation of various safety codes in the past—a lesson they apparently did not learn from. Continue reading

A jury in Washington State awarded electronics technician Verl Lee $3.8 million for painful and unusual injuries sustained in an electrical explosion. Lee was working with Advanced Electrical Technologies of Longview when he was contracted to help repair a damaged Variable Frequency Drive at an Oakville, Washington chip mill on January 25, 2010.

Verl Lee sustained his injuries when Daniel Fletcher, an employee of Willis Enterprises who was escorting Lee to a series of malfunctioning cooling fans in the Variable Frequency Drive, struck the fan with a screwdriver when both parties were aware that the fans were energized. Mr. Fletcher’s lapse in judgment caused a short circuit of about 700 volts according the Daily World, a local Washington newspaper. The average wall outlet, easily capable of producing a painful charge, is only 120 volts by comparison. The resulting explosion left Verl Lee momentary blind and with a list of disabling injuries.

According to the National Trial Lawyers blog, Mr. Lee now suffers from, ” hyperacusis (abnormal sound sensitivity) and a case of tinnitus that Dr. William Martin, one of the top tinnitus experts in the world, said put Lee in the top one or two percent of people who suffer from this debilitating condition. Lee also developed chronic pain behind his eyes.” Essentially, Verl Lee’s life has been permanently altered, and he now needs to wear protective headphones and a hearing device to combat the incessant ringing in his ears and sound sensitivity. Lee was an elder in his church and active in both the worship team and the choir. He was forced to give up what he loved because his injuries made it too painful to function in situations with a large amount of people and sound.
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A man who sustained electrical shock injuries in a Quincy construction accident was rushed to the hospital. A Boston Medical Center spokesperson said that Antonio Deponte sustained electrical burns on his forearms after making contact with a power line.

The intensity of the shock reportedly caused DePonte to fall a floor. He also suffered a head injury. The Massachusetts electrical burn accident occurred at the new Central Middle school.

Electrical Injuries and Massachusetts Construction accidents

While many electrical burns may not show themselves on the skin, their damage can be deep, causing severe injury to the tissue. Depending on the strength of the electrical current that was involved, heart rhythm disturbance, cardiac arrest, organ damage, serious entry and exit wounds, and even death occur.

Unfortunately, electrical injuries, including electrocution and electrical shock, are a serious risk for many construction workers every day. Many workers have to work around and with electricity. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that electrical accidents is one of the leading causes of construction accident fatalities, with hundreds of fatalities and thousands of worker injuries caused by electrical burns and shocks. Other common causes of Boston construction accidents involving electrical sources include high-voltage power lines, extension and power cords that are faulty or short circuited, defective or poorly maintained power tools, lighting, inadequate ground-fault protection, and negligent use of equipment.

As an injured construction worker, you may not be able to file a Boston electrical injury lawsuit against your employer, but you are likely entitled to Massachusetts workers’ compensation. There also may be other parties associated with the construction job, such as the owner of the project, another contractor, and others that you may be able to pursue legal damages from, in addition to other third parties involved in the accident.

Man injured in accident at Quincy school construction site, Boston.com, June 11, 2013′

Bureau of Labor Statistics

More Blog Posts:
GAO Report Finds State-Run OSHA Programs Failing to Meet Workplace Safety Goals, Massachusetts Workers’ Compensation Lawyer Blog, June 7, 2013
Worker Killed in Northampton Construction Accident, Boston Injury Lawyer Blog, April 19, 2013

Brockton Tractor-Trailer Driver Suffers Electrical Shock After His Truck Strikes Power Lines on I-95 in Attleboro, Boston Injury Lawyer Blog, August 17, 2012 Continue reading

Alfred Cabiya, 56, died in a Massachusetts construction accident yesterday morning. The tragic incident happened when he became pinned in the middle of two modular office units. Another worker was treated for non-fatal injuries.

The construction workers were setting up the temporary buildings when one of the units shifted. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration and Massachusetts’s Department of Industrial Accidents are investigating the incident.

Construction Accidents

The family of William Nichols has reached a $7.5 million Massachusetts wrongful death settlement in its lawsuit against EnergyUSA and Smolinsky Plumbing and Heating over the 2010 Norfolk propane explosion that claimed his life. Nichols, a 46-year-old Blackstone electrician, suffered fatal injuries, including burns to 80% of his body, when the blast happened and then trapped him under rubble for over 90 minutes.

At the time of the explosion, he had been working on the air conditioning and heating system in a duplex under construction. There had been no odor to warn him that an explosion was coming.

According to the family’s Norfolk wrongful death complaint, EnergyUSA under-filled a new propane tank, which caused the chemical odorant to fade. This is the reason why the propane that leaked had no smell and could not be detected–a theory confirmed by reports about the leak accident. They contend that the company violated the warning located on the propane tank cover that instructs for the new tank to be filled to capacity. Records indicate that only 200 gallons was delivered to the 1,000 gallon tank on April 29, 2010.

The criminal trial of the man accused of fatally striking a Framingham highway worker is about to start. Jeremy Gardner faces the criminal charges of motor vehicle homicide and drunk driving.

According to police, Gardner, 31, fatally struck Gregory Vilidnitsky, 57, on Route 9 on September 14, 2010. At the time, the highway worker was working on a paving project. The authorities contend that Gardner did not stop his pickup truck at the Framingham highway construction accident site and instead kept on driving until he hit an oil truck. Walter Smith, who was riding in the vehicle with Gardner, at the time, allegedly attempted to get into the driver’s seat and get away. He is charged with DUI and will undergo his own criminal trial.

Unfortunately, road construction workers are at risk of serious injuries while on the job. They are easy targets for vehicles on the road and the dangers they face can be exacerbated by poor warning signs, inadequate barriers separate the construction zone from oncoming traffic, construction trucks and other large vehicles and machinery obstructing driver visibility, and driver negligence, including speeding, distracted driving, or drunken driving.

A highway construction worker that is injured in a Framingham traffic accident is likely entitled to Massachusetts workers’ compensation benefits from his/her employer. While an injured worker usually cannot sue an employer for personal injury if the injury was sustained on the job, there may be third parties, such as a negligent motorist or another entity involved with the construction job that can be sued for damages.

Even if a responsible party didn’t intended to cause the Framingham wrongful death or injury accident, liability can still be found if negligence was a factor. A driver that causes a Massachusetts highway construction accident may also have to contend with criminal charges that would be handle in a separate, unrelated proceeding.

Maine man sentenced to 8 years in prison for killing MassDOT worker in Framingham OUI Crash, The MetroWest Daily News, March 27, 2012

Maine man pleads guilty in Mass. highway death, Boston.com, March 27, 2012


More Blog Posts:

Boston is 3rd on Safe Driver List, Survey Reports, Boston Car Accident Lawyer Blog, March 18, 2012

Boston Taxicab Drivers Sue City over Wage & Workers’ Comp Concerns, Boston Workers Compensation Lawyer Blog, March 8, 2012

New Bedford Bicyclist Hit and Killed by FedEx Truck, Boston Injury Lawyer Blog, March 23, 2012 Continue reading

A construction worker who sustained serious back injuries has reached a $1.6 million Boston injury settlement with the defendants of his Massachusetts construction accident lawsuit. The plaintiff, Leo Camilli, was hurt while excavating broken chunks of sidewalk during a job for Cicconi and Sons Construction Company, Inc.

Camilli contends that on July 24, 2007, the bucket of a backhoe struck his back while he was working and to this day he continues to experience physical pain and is unable perform physical labor. He also claims that he cannot lift heavy weights or sit, stand, crouch, stoop, bend, or kneel for too long. Not only has Camilli undergone multiple surgeries, and he is expecting to undergo more procedures, but also, he continues to take pain medications.

Following the Brighton, Massachusetts construction accident, Camilli sued the company, as well as its employee, backhoe operator Thomas Flebotte. Camilli claimed that it was Flebotte’s responsibility to make sure that there were no workers in the work zone before swinging the backhoe. He also said there should have been a foreman in charge of letting Flebotte know when the area was clear.

Now, the defendants have offered him $1.6 million in this third-party tort claims against them. According to court documents, an economist has estimated that in the wake of Camilli’s loss of ability to remain in the competitive labor market because of his back injuries, the former construction worker’s income loss is at about $1,402,507.00.

Boston Construction Accidents
Massachusetts construction workers place themselves at serious risk of injury when doing their jobs. This is why it is so important that a site is kept safe and proper precautions and procedures are implemented to minimize the chance of serious injury.

Unfortunately, many construction injuries are serious enough that the worker may no longer be able to hold a job/make a living. While you generally cannot sure your employer for Boston injury, you should be entitled to Massachusetts workers’ compensation benefits. That said, if there were other parties involved in the construction project, such as the project owner, contractors, architects, and others, you may be able to file a third-party claim for personal injury compensation, in addition to receiving your work injury benefits.

Read the Notice of Docket Entry (PDF)

Construction Accidents, Justia

More Blog Posts:
Salem Construction Accident at Massachusetts Courthouse Last Summer Caused by Wrong Screw, Boston Injury Lawyers, January 19, 2011
Propane Tank Involved in Deadly Norfolk Construction Blast May Have been Lacking Chemical Odorant, Boston Injury Lawyer Blog, December 31, 2010
Boston Crane Collapse Kills One Massachusetts Construction Worker and Injures Another, Boston Injury Lawyer Blog, February 8, 2009 Continue reading

According to news reports, a propane tank exploded at Weston High School today at a construction site. Neither the high school building-apparently about 25 feet from the propane tank-nor any student was affected by the explosion, and the fire was quickly extinguished. A 50-year-old construction worker, however, did appear to receive second-degree burns on his face, hands, and knee from the explosion and was immediately brought to Boston’s Brigham & Women’s Hospital. The cause of the explosion is current unknown, but is being investigated.

Construction sites are prime locations for injuries to occur, since they are often contain heavy equipment like forklifts and cranes, scaffolding, electrical equipment, and hazardous substances, along with dust and fumes. Construction workers thus risk falling from great heights, being crushed by heavy equipment, or being exposed to unsafe toxic chemicals.

Workers who are injured on the job, or who believe their work environment poses safety hazards, may file a complaint to have OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration, a division of the U.S. Department of Labor) investigate your case.

Two-and-a-half years after suffering severe electrical burns during a construction accident, Dallas Wiens has received a complete face transplant. Over 30 doctors, anesthesiologists, and nurses at Brigham and Woman’s Hospital in Boston conducted the procedure to give the 25-year-old construction worker a new face.

After the boom lift he was working struck a power line, Wiens fell into a coma for nearly three months Doctors thought he would never talk or walk again and that he would be paralyzed from the neck down. They also didn’t think he would be able to eat regular food. Wiens, who underwent 22 surgeries, lost all of his facial features, except for a lipless mouth. He is now blind.

Wiens’s transplant included the donor’s entire face and is the most complete facial transplant conducted in this country to date. He also can now smell, feel, and breathe on his own.

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