Jan 2020

More workers are becoming ill due to dust exposure

Massachusetts workers' compensation attorney

Workers who regularly handle building materials such as cement, concrete, and wood are likely exposed to various types of dust. It can come in contact with the skin, get in workers’ eyes and mouth, or be inhaled through the nose.

According to EHS Today, large particles don’t usually make it into the lungs. Smaller particles, however, bypass the natural filtering of our respiratory system. They either build up in the lungs or enter the bloodstream. Dust particles in the lungs and bloodstream can be warded off by naturally-occurring white blood cells, but breathing in high amounts of dust over a long period of time can cause serious and life-threatening health conditions.

What are the common types of workplace dust?

  • Silica: Those who work in construction, mining, glass production, stonecutting, and shingle manufacturing are at risk of inhaling ultrafine silica particles. In fact, silica has been linked to an upsurge of lung diseases that can result in severe, life-long health complications or death.
  • Asbestos: Asbestos is commonly found in building materials such as roofing shingles, tiles, flooring, and cement. Long-term exposure to asbestos can result in shortness of breath, coughing, wheezing, fatigue, lung cancer, and mesothelioma.
  • Flour dust: Culinary and food service workers who handle flour are at risk of breathing in flour dust. Short-term symptoms of breathing in flour dust may include a runny nose, watery eyes, frequent sneezing, coughing, and shortness of breath. Long-term exposure can result in asthma.
  • Wood dust: Construction workers, carpenters, or woodworkers are regularly exposed to dust from cutting and sanding wood. Exposure to wood dust can result in difficulty breathing, nose and throat irritation, and dermatitis (skin irritation).

What can employers do to protect workers?

EHS Today outlines several steps employers should take to better protect workers from the harmful effects of dust exposure.

  • Create safety data sheets to outline the hazards of each dust-producing material.
  • Provide details on how to avoid a dust-related hazard, and remove it (if possible).
  • Offer best practice advice for handling hazardous materials.
  • Provide workers with protective equipment and gear (required by law). This can include gloves, goggles, visors, and face masks.
  • Monitor dust levels in the workplace and alert workers when levels become dangerously high.
  • Provide adequate safety training to workers.
  • Close off areas in a facility where high amounts of dust are likely to be produced.
  • Install a ventilation system that can help remove airborne dust from a facility.

If you have developed a lung illness or any other adverse health condition due to the nature of your job, you may be eligible for worker’s compensation benefits. The Law Offices of Deborah G. Kohl — based in Massachusetts and Rhode Island — can help guide you through the process.

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Jan 2020

Why construction safety matters

Massachusetts workers' compensation attorney

The calendar year 2018 saw 4,779 worker fatalities in the private sector nationwide, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. The construction industry accounted for an unacceptable 1,008 of those deaths, about one in five, or 21.1 percent.

The majority of fatalities – 58.6 percent – were in the “Fatal Four” categories. These include:

  1. Falling from a height: 338 deaths, or 33.5 percent.
  2. Being struck by an object: 112 deaths, or 11.1 percent.
  3. Electrocution: 86 deaths, or 8.5 percent.
  4. Caught in/between (getting caught in or crushed by equipment or objects): 55 deaths, or 5.5 percent.

That totals 591 worker lives for the year. The risk is greater for employees who work alone, according to the bureau.

Putting safety first

Too few construction companies see safety as an investment, but a safety program can boost morale and increase productivity. According to Occupational Health & Safety magazine, construction companies often fail in this area because:

  • They rely heavily on personal protection equipment to keep workers safe from harm. In many cases, the equipment is not adequate for the circumstances. A hard hat, for example, is not going to save a worker from injury in a significant fall. Additional measures should be taken to ensure worker safety.
  • They don’t have a monitoring system in place for employees who are working alone. Supervisors have no way of knowing when their workers need immediate medical attention.
  • There is a lack of an emergency response system to handle injuries in a timely manner. Companies must be prepared to respond to emergencies by having a plan in place. The plan should be clear, shared with employees at all levels and practiced on a regular basis.
  • They do not recognize or acknowledge that ignoring basic safety measures can be illegal. Maybe they don’t care. Maybe they’re incompetent. Regardless, companies can face major fines, lawsuits, and the loss of licenses and contracts.

When safety isn’t first

If you have been injured in a construction site accident, you may be facing a lengthy rehabilitation or permanent disability. You are unable to work, pay your bills or support your family. Your employer is unlikely to admit any responsibility. They may, in fact, blame you. Their insurance company will pressure you to accept a lowball financial settlement because they know you need money. The workers’ compensation system is seemingly designed to frustrate you at every turn. At worst, you’ve experienced the loss of a loved one.

The workers’ compensation attorneys at The Law Offices of Deborah G. Kohl have been handling cases just like yours in Rhode Island and Massachusetts since 1980. Let us put our decades of experience to work securing the future for you. Contact us today for a free consultation.

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Dec 2019

Can safety technology reduce repetitive strain injuries?

Massachusetts workers' compensation attorney

Workers in manufacturing often need to perform repetitive tasks. While many tasks in manufacturing might not seem strenuous on the surface, they can have a harmful impact if performed over and over again.

Repetitive stress injuries, in fact, are among the most common workplace health-related issues, according to an article in EHS Today that outlines how manufacturers can reduce these injuries. An injury from repetitive strain can cause damage to soft tissue and tendons and may sideline a worker for weeks, months or even permanently.

How safety technology can help

According to OSHA, it costs U.S. employers about $1 billion a week in direct costs linked to injuries. Companies dealing with repetitive stress injuries have to make compensation payments, cover medical expenses and legal services, and absorb the cost of lost revenue due to a reduction in productivity.

Manufacturers certainly don’t want to bear the burden of these costs. It’s in their best interests to keep workers safe. That’s why it’s critically important for them to pay proper attention to ergonomics. A hand drill, for example, might not cause an injury if used by a worker only once a day. Many manufacturers need workers to use the tool throughout the day. A single worker might tighten thousands of fasteners in one workday, which over time can result in a number of problems:

  • Fatigue
  • Hand and arm stress
  • Injury

Repetitive stress injuries can be reduced if employers bring new technology into the workplace. EHS Today describes how manufacturers today can equip their shops with ergonomically designed tools that reduce the stress on the operator. Recent innovations have made it possible for workers to use fastening tools that deliver short pulses of energy into a fastener during tightening. This allows the worker to perform repetitive tasks with a smaller risk of injury than if performed on tools not equipped with the technology.

EHS Today writes about tools that reduce torque reaction in the fastening process. These tools, including power drills, can be set to one of three modes:

  • Ergonomic mode, which is ideal for hard joints or when arm, wrist or tool angles are difficult
  • Performance mode, which is the best all-purpose mode
  • Productivity mode, which is the fast mode and is ideal when high production rates are required

A responsibility to keep workers safe

Manufacturers today can choose from a wide variety of technologies that reduces the amount of force transferred from the tool to the worker using it. Manufacturers have a responsibility to ensure a safe work environment, which is why it’s critical for them to consider upgrading to new ergonomic tools.

EHS Today reports that workers who use reduced reaction technology work faster and are more comfortable. The technology reduces the number of repetitive stress injuries from the aggressive impact of using a tool several times throughout the day. Assembly workers should talk to their supervisors to find out if they are using ergonomic tools.

If you or a loved one sustained a repetitive stress injury, contact an experienced work injury attorney as soon as possible. Your employer or the insurance company may downplay the injury. You may be told to return to work before you’re fully recovered.

You don’t have to deal with your employer and the insurance company on your own. Contact the Law Offices of Deborah G. Kohl. Trust us to handle your claim while you focus on your recovery.

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Dec 2019

Retail, warehouse injuries likely to increase this holiday season

Massachusetts workers' compensation attorney

Those who work in retail and warehouse distribution should be prepared for a faster-paced work environment this holiday season. More demand from shoppers means commercial goods to be made, distributed, stocked on shelves, and sold to the public.

Here are the injury statistics for the retail and warehouse sectors.

Retail injuries on the rise

All private industry sectors saw a dip in total recordable workplace injury cases in 2018, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). Retail was the only private sector that saw an increase in recordable cases — from 3.3 cases per 100 workers in 2017 to 3.5 cases per 100 full-time workers in 2018.

The most common retail injuries in 2018, according to the BLS, included:

  • Sprains, strains, and tears
  • Pain and soreness
  • Bruises and contusions
  • Cuts, lacerations, and punctures
  • Fractures

Most retail injuries were caused by:

  • Overexertion
  • Contact with objects and equipment
  • Slips, trips, and falls
  • Accidents involving transportation
  • Violence, and/or injuries by people or animals

Warehouse injuries also common during the holidays

The rate of total recordable workplace injury cases in the warehouse sector, according to the BLS, was 5.1 per 100 full-time workers in 2018.

Warehouse accidents can be more devastating than retail injuries, especially when heavy machinery is involved. For example, forklift accidents are a leading cause of serious injuries and deaths in warehouses.

Other common causes of warehouse injuries include:

  • Slips, trips, and falls
  • Contact with objects or equipment
  • Being struck by falling inventory

How workplace fatigue plays a role

The holiday season is not only stressful for those who spend hours shopping, traveling, and planning events, it can also be tiresome for workers. Those who work in retail and warehousing will likely be required to work overtime this holiday season.

Sleep deprivation, long work hours, and workplace stress can all result in:

  • Loss of memory
  • Depression
  • Impaired hand-eye coordination
  • General fatigue that is worse than being impaired by alcohol

Those who work the night shifts are the most accident-prone. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s 2012 Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report says that nearly 70 percent of warehouse and transportation employees who work the night shift are fatigued.

Know your legal rights if you’re injured on the job this holiday season

Whether your job entails cashing out customers, stocking shelves, operating a forklift, or delivering goods, you may be eligible for workers’ compensation benefits if you sustain an injury on the job.

If you’ve never filed a claim before, the process can seem complex and overwhelming. Any errors made on your paperwork can cause your benefits to be delayed or denied. Let an experienced Massachusetts workers’ compensation attorney at the Law Offices of Deborah G. Kohl do the work for you.

For nearly four decades, our legal team has successfully advocated for injured workers in Massachusetts and Rhode Island. To get started on your claim, contact us online and set up your free case evaluation with one of our attorneys.

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Nov 2019

Here’s what you need to know when you have a noisy job

Massachusetts workers' compensation attorney

What do rock stars, elementary school teachers, and manufacturing workers have in common?

According to Acoustical Services Inc., they have noisy jobs that, over time, can lead to hearing loss and other noise pollution-related problems: headaches, tinnitus, stress, depression, and insomnia.

There are many other jobs that expose employees to loud environments. Acoustical Surfaces, a sound insulation company, reports on the following “top 10 noisiest jobs” (dB stands for decibel, a unit used to measure the intensity of sound):

  • Nursery worker or teacher (85 dB)
  • Motorcycle courier (90 dB)
  • Classical musician (95 dB)
  • Commuter music (100 dB)
  • Factor and farmworker (105 dB)
  • Rock star (110 dB)
  • Nightclub worker (115 dB)
  • Construction worker (120 dB)
  • Formula One driver (135 dB)
  • Airport ground staff (140 dB)

OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration) sets legal limits that clearly state what is an acceptable level of noise in the workplace. An employee working an eight-hour shift should not be exposed to more than 90 dBA (A-weighted decibels), according to OSHA.

What can you do to protect your hearing?

If you work in a job where the noise exceeds OSHA’s legal dBA limit, you have a right to ask your employer to provide you with hearing protection. Your employer must measure noise levels in the workplace and offer free hearing exams each year. You’re allowed to receive free hearing protection if the limits exceed OSHA’s standards.

Employees should not simply accept a noisy workplace as being part of the job. The Bureau of Labor and Statistics lists occupational hearing loss as the top reported worker illness in manufacturing. A recent article in Occupational Health and Safety outlines the variety of hearing protection devices available for employees who work in noisy environments:

  • Disposable foam earplugs
  • Reusable earplugs
  • Earmuffs
  • Advanced hearing protection

How an attorney can help with a hearing loss claim

It’s not just rock stars who work in noisy environments. Many jobs in Rhode Island, Massachusetts and across the country expose employees to decibel levels that can cause damage over time.

If you experienced hearing loss related to your employment, you will need an experienced workplace injury lawyer on your side.

Your bosses and the insurance companies might say the hearing loss had nothing to do with your job. They may threaten to fire you if you say you can no longer work because of the noise.

That’s why you need to consult with the Law Offices of Deborah G. Kohl. You will have a strong advocate with you every step of the way. Contact us today for a free consultation.

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Nov 2019

According to OSHA: These are the measures your employer should take to prevent chemical exposure on the job

Massachusetts workers' compensation attorney

Exposure to hazardous chemicals on the job can result in serious injuries and adverse health conditions. Chemical exposure is common across a wide range of occupations. Most commonly, miners, construction workers, manufacturers, warehouse workers, food service workers, auto mechanics, agriculture workers, health care workers, and those who work at chemical plants are at an elevated risk of sustaining an injury or serious health condition.

What does OSHA require of employers?

OSHA’s Hazard Communication Standard (HazCom) was established to help protect workers from injuries or illnesses caused by hazardous chemicals on the job. In compliance with HazCom, employers in industries that involve the production, handling, use, or storage of toxic chemicals must provide workers with the following information:

  • Hazard classifications: Workers should receive information regarding classifications of health and physical hazards relating to certain chemicals or mixtures.
  • Labels: HazCom requires that chemical manufacturers and importers provide labels, which include:
    • Harmonized signal words – such as “danger” and/or “warning”
    • Pictograms
    • Hazard statements relating to each hazard class and category
    • Precautionary statements
  • Safety data sheets: A 16-section format specifying safety and hazard information
  • Information and training: In order to ensure workers recognize and understand labels and safety data sheets, they must receive adequate training.

Workers are not expected to remember each specific fact regarding chemicals and hazard classifications. They are, however, expected to be aware of the risks of chemical exposure and the protective measures that can be taken to prevent injuries.

What are the risks of chemical exposures on the job?

Chemical exposure may include inhaling harmful vapors, accidentally ingesting harmful substances, or contact with skin and eyes. Depending on the type of chemicals involved or the nature of exposure, workers may sustain:

  • Burns
  • Damage to internal organs
  • Asthma and other respiratory illnesses
  • Allergies
  • Cancer

According to the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, more than 13 million workers across the United States are at risk of chemical exposure that could absorb through the skin (also known as “dermal exposure”). This can lead to dermatitis, skin cancer, skin infections, and other health conditions involving the skin.

If you have sustained any kind of injury, illness, or adverse health condition on the job due to chemical exposure, it’s important that you take it seriously from the start. You may need time off from work and adequate medical care in order to make a full recovery. While this may seem financially overwhelming, you may be eligible for workers’ compensation benefits, which will cover your medical expenses and lost wages.

Proving that your injury or health condition was caused by job-related chemical exposure may be challenging. An experienced workers’ compensation attorney at the Law Offices of Deborah G. Kohl can streamline the process and maximize your chances of obtaining benefits. We serve clients in Massachusetts and Rhode Island. To learn how we can help you, contact our law office online and schedule your free case evaluation today.

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Oct 2019

Rhode Island construction workers have been impacted by the opioid epidemic, according to recent state data

Massachusetts workers' compensation attorney

Deaths related to opioid overdoses have grown to epidemic levels over the past few years. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), more than 47,600 died in 2017 after using prescription opioids, heroin, and fentanyl — marking the highest number of opioid-related deaths in a single year. What’s more alarming, 37 percent of these deaths involved opioids prescribed by doctors.

Those who work in occupations that are physically demanding are at a heightened risk of opioid overdoses. That’s because doctors often prescribe opioids for work-related injuries — many of which are severe. This is done in order to manage pain while an injured worker recovers. It does, however, put workers at risk of addiction.

Rhode Island construction workers affected by opioids

According to preliminary data released by the Rhode Island Department of Health in August, construction and extraction workers accounted for nearly 20 percent of all statewide drug overdose fatalities. From July 2016 – June 2018, approximately 569 people died from overdoses — 103 of which were construction and extraction workers.

The report lumped construction in with the maintenance and natural resources industries, which together had an overdose fatality rate of 176.7 per 100,000 workers. Roughly 140 overdose deaths occurred among those who work in construction, maintenance, and natural resources. About 80 percent of those deaths were linked to fentanyl — a synthetic opioid deemed 50 times more potent than heroin.

National figures on workers’ comp-related opioid prescriptions

The CDC cites figures from the National Survey of Drug Use and Health which estimates that 66.7 percent of “self-reported illicit opioid users” were either full- or part-time workers.

Workers’ compensation data cited by the CDC says:

  • 44 percent of 2016 workers’ compensation claims involving prescriptions included at least one opioid prescription. This figure, however, has declined 55 percent since 2012.
  • 15 percent of workers’ compensation claims (as of 2016) with at least one opioid prescription had a date of injury in 2010 or prior, 30 percent from 2011-2014, and 55 percent no earlier than 2014.
  • Between 2008-2013 across 28 states, opioids prescribed to workers’ compensation recipients who had sustained back injuries (more than 7 days away from work) resulted in triple the recovery time in contrast with those who didn’t receive prescriptions.

If you have been injured on the job or have suffered complications due to an opioid prescription, it’s critical that you discuss this matter with an experienced workers’ compensation attorney who can help you weigh your legal options. The Law Offices of Deborah G. Kohl serves clients in Massachusetts and Rhode Island. To find out how we can help you, contact us online and set up your free case evaluation.

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Oct 2019

Workers’ lack of sleep is leading to more workplace injuries

Massachusetts workers' compensation attorney

Let’s be honest. Getting a full night of sleep is easier said than done. It’s recommended that adults get between 7-9 hours of sleep per night, but many people, including those who work full-time, have a lot to juggle — jobs, family, health, finances, and a social life.

Sleep deprivation is a common problem that impacts a third of adults across the United States, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

According to WebMD, common symptoms of sleep deprivation include:

  • Poor memory
  • Depression
  • Increased perception of pain
  • Reduced hand-eye coordination
  • General fatigue that is worse than being alcohol-impaired

How does fatigue impact workplace safety?

The consequences of not getting enough sleep can spill over into the workplace and often worsens when employees are overworked, according to Safety + Health Magazine.

“We have a history of incentivizing people who work long hours with extra pay, promotions and recognition.” said Emily Whitcomb, senior program manager at the National Safety Council.

Data from the CDC’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report in 2012 breaks down the percentage of fatigued workers by industry. According to the report, these workers don’t get enough sleep:

  • 34.1% in the manufacturing industry
  • 44% of all night shift workers
  • 52.3% of health care and social assistance employees who work the night shift
  • 69.7% of transportation and warehouse employees who work the night shift

According to Whitcomb, roughly 13 percent of all workplace injuries are the result of workers not getting enough sleep. Unfortunately, fatigue doesn’t get the attention it deserves from employers.

“When employers fill out paperwork for an incident in the workplace, most are not asking about fatigue, how much sleep the person got or how many hours they worked in the last couple of days,” Whitcomb said.

Aside from not getting enough sleep at night, other common risk factors in fatigue-related injuries include:

  • Night shifts: Night workers are particularly at risk of workplace injuries. That’s because, biologically, we’re not wired to work overnight. Our circadian rhythm (our internal clock) naturally programs us to sleep at night and be active during the day.
  • Shifts longer than 8 hours: Research also shows that when employees exceed eight-hour work shifts, their likelihood of sustaining an injury increases. The risk increases by 13 percent at 10 hours and more than 27 percent at 12 hours. Experts even link longer shifts with decision-making errors and reduced attentiveness.
  • Workplace stress: Extended physical exertion and mental concentration can result in fatigue. When working long hours without adequate breaks, workplace stress can be dangerous and lead to chronic diseases.

What are the solutions to workplace fatigue?

Workplace accidents related to fatigue are preventable. Safety + Health offers tips that employers and workers should consider, including:

  • Establish a fatigue risk management system: Employers should consider implementing a set of policies, practices, and programs relating to workplace fatigue into an existing safety management plan.
  • Offer education and screening: Employers should educate employees on the dangers of workplace fatigue and promote healthy sleep habits. In addition, employees should be screened for potential sleep disorders and offered treatment options.
  • Focus on shifts: Employers should consider reducing overtime and offer frequent breaks for night workers. In addition, demanding tasks for night workers should only be given during times when employees are most alert and night shift workers should be given adequate time off between shifts.

If you were injured on the job due to fatigue, you may be eligible to receive workers’ compensation benefits while you recover. This process, however, must be done right in order to avoid having your claim denied. That’s why you should consult with an experienced Massachusetts workers’ compensation attorney at the Law Offices of Deborah G. Kohl. We can ensure that all paperwork is filled out correctly and advocate for a fair settlement.

Contact us online today to find out how we can help you.

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Sep 2019

New study: Construction workers aren’t getting enough sleep

Construction workers often endure hours of physically and mentally taxing labor and to perform their daily job functions and prevent injuries, they need to get enough sleep.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), however, reports that one in three adults don’t get enough sleep. Adults 18-60 years old are urged to sleep at least seven hours per night but the average American only gets 6.8 hours of sleep per night and 40 percent of Americans sleep six hours or less. This culture of inadequate sleep impacts everyone, including construction workers.

Researchers find that construction workers need adequate sleep

A study conducted by researchers at Colorado State University concluded that many accidents and injuries in the construction industry are caused by lack of sleep.

Researchers collected data from three surveys over the course of 12 months involving construction workers from two public works departments in Portland, Oregon. The survey — which was part of an Oregon Healthy Workforce Center study — determined the quantity of sleep each participant received and matched it up with workplace injury data.

Construction workers who reported insomnia symptoms were more likely to experience:

  • Poor attention and memory on the job
  • Poor safety-related behavior
  • Forgetting common work procedures, such as ensuring equipment is turned off
  • Inadvertently pressing wrong control switches on machines
  • Unintentionally stopping or starting wrong machines
  • Daydreaming on the job and not listening to co-workers

Preventing fatigue-related workplace accidents

Inadequate sleep doesn’t just impact construction safety. It can put workers across all industries at risk of being injured. That’s why more awareness must be raised in the workplace.

“Organizations, especially safety-sensitive ones like construction, should care about their employees’ sleep because it can impact the safety of the workplace and put workers at risk,” said Rebecca Brossoit, the study’s co-author, in a press release.

If you were injured on the job due to a careless, fatigue-related workplace accident, your injuries may be serious enough to require immediate medical attention. What’s worse, you may not be able to return to work for months while undergoing surgery and physical therapy. The x-rays, pain medication, and other medical procedures can be costly. You may be wondering how you will afford to make ends meet during these difficult times.

That’s why you are eligible for workers’ compensation benefits, which cover your medical expenses and lost wages. Obtaining workers’ compensation benefits, however, isn’t easy. A minor misstep in your paperwork or in the claim-filing process can result in a denial. Let the experienced Massachusetts attorneys at Law Offices of Deborah G. Kohl do the work for you. We know how the system works and can maximize your chances of receiving benefits. Contact us online today to get started.

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Sep 2019

Fatal Roadside Work Accidents are on the Rise. Here’s What You Need to Know.

Massachusetts workers' compensation attorneyTraffic accidents occur on US roads at an alarming rate and sometimes roadside workers are killed. Safety + Health Magazine reports that roadside construction worker deaths have increased by 43 percent from 2013-2016. Workers who direct traffic or operate as crossing guards are at the highest risk of being struck and killed by cars.

Roadside worker deaths are often caused by:

  • Drivers speeding in work zones
  • Distracted driving
  • Poor visibility
  • Drunk or drugged driving
  • Hazardous road or weather conditions

A Massachusetts roadside worker’s death raises safety concerns

The death of a Massachusetts National Grid worker who was struck by an SUV while on the job has raised concerns among safety advocates, according to the Boston Herald.

Spencer police confirmed that the man succumbed to injuries that he sustained on July 31. The man was marking underground piping for an upcoming construction project in the eastbound lane on Main Street. An investigation into the accident was conducted by police and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).

“We know that working around vehicles is very dangerous,” said Jodi Sugerman-Brozan, executive director of the Massachusetts Coalition for Occupational Safety and Health (MassCOSH). ” We implore all employers to take the time to create as safe a worksite as they possibly can to protect the lives of those who work for them.”

According to MassCOSH, there was no work zone set up at the time the worker was fatally struck. In addition, there were no traffic cones or signs set up and no police presence.

The man was the third worker killed this year by a moving vehicle, but a total of six workers have died throughout Massachusetts in 2019 in transportation-related incidents. In 2018, a total of 17 workers died, which accounted for 29 percent of all statewide worker fatalities.

Suggestions for safer roadside worksites

In order to ensure a safe roadside worksite, supervisors are urged to follow the guidelines laid out in the Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices, published by the Federal Highway Administration.

Rather than setting up signs on roadside worksites, supervisors should utilize colored or marked vehicles. These vehicles should be equipped with bright rotating or flashing lights that are easily visible to drivers. In addition, vehicles should include highly-visible signs and arrow panels.

If you’re a roadside worker who was hurt on the job, you are within your rights to pursue workers’ compensation benefits. The legal team at the Law Offices of Deborah G. Kohl can help guide you through this complex process and negotiate with insurance companies for a fair settlement. Contact us today to get started.

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