There are far too many cases where construction workers never return home after a fatal accident on an unsafe jobsite. The Boston Globe recently covered two more construction deaths that occurred within a few hours of one another in Massachusetts.
In one case’ a 25-year-old roofer fell from a 25-foot sloped roof. He was pronounced dead before a medical helicopter was able to transport him to a hospital in Worcester. The other incident was a 34-year-old man that died in Copley Square. He was crushed by a 3,500 lb ballast as he worked to set up Boston’s New Year’s Eve celebration. Our sincerest thoughts and condolences go out to the families of these two hard-working young men.
These are both examples of how fragile life is and how easily something like this could happen on unsafe construction sites. General contractors owe a duty to workers on the site to retain the right to control the work in any of its aspects, including the right to initiate and maintain safety measures and programs. General contractors on job sites often have contracts and safety policies that outline safe practices on the jobsite. Such contracts impose duties on general contractors to protect workers from predictable jobsite injuries. Moreover, the United States Department of Labor promulgates safety regulations for jobsites. Violations of Federal laws or regulations, such as O.S.H.A. standards applicable to construction jobsites, constitute some evidence of negligence.
Injuries and fatal hazards within the workplace should be avoidable. In most cases, risks within the workplace are overlooked, however, with the correct safety measures and procedures, injury and death can be avoided altogether.
When a company maintains an unsafe jobsite condition that causes injury or death to someone, the contractors responsible for safety should be held accountable. Unsafe site conditions are a threat to employees that should not be taken lightly. It’s the responsibility of site managers and construction companies to make sure their projects and properties are safe and don’t put their employees at risk.
Injured workers not only have rights to recover worker’s compensation benefits for lost wages and medical expenses, but also, the injured worker may have rights to recover for all damages from the negligent contractor responsible for safety at the jobsite. Workers should not have to fear going to work because of poor safety standards and procedures. If you or a loved one has been hurt in the workplace, you should seek professional legal help. It’s your right to feel safe and comfortable in your place of work, and your right to hold unsafe contractors responsible.