On March 1, 2017, at 10 Milk Street in Downtown Boston, a member of the Boston Police Department was struck by debris falling from construction-related scaffolding. The police officer was working a detail when the falling debris struck his head and shoulder, causing a large laceration (or cut) to his head, and potentially breaking his collar bone. Reports of the accident indicate that although the officer was taken to a hospital from the scene of the accident, he was okay and his injuries were not severe. [http://boston.cbslocal.com/2017/03/01/police-officer-injured-falling-scaffolding-boston/]
A twitter user and local Bostonian tweeted this picture [https://twitter.com/AlisonTBoston/status/837011997837377536] in the wake of the accident. In the bottom right hand corner, you can see the truck where scaffolding was being loaded or unloaded.
According to a commenter to the UniversalHub.com headline for the accident, the entire job site was unsafe from start to finish. “I couldn’t believe how cavalier they were being with their safety and ours,” said user Kaz, on March 1, 2017 at 4:12pm. [http://www.universalhub.com/2017/scaffolding-falls-milk-street#comments.] As that commenter described it, the contractors and scaffolding company had “no protections up anywhere and one guy about 10 feet up was KICKING a steel I-beam across the scaffold into place right up against the edge along the sidewalk where pedestrians were still being allowed to pass (myself included).” The UniversalHub.com user, Kaz, seemed to be talking about his or her experience at the accident site from the day before the accident actually occurred; this could indicate an ongoing lack of safety or supervision on the jobsite.
Although tragic, this accident is one of the hundreds that occur at construction sites across the country every year. According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), [https://www.osha.gov/oshstats/commonstats.html] in 2015, of the 4,379 worker accidents reported, 937 were in construction. Of those construction accidents, about 10 percent occur due to the person being struck by objects (such as a piece of metal falling from scaffolding). Furthermore, violations of the OSHA scaffolding regulations were the third most common type of violation between September 2015 and September 2016, behind Fall Protection and Hazard Communication.
Contractors, both general and subcontractors, have obligations under law—and often contract—to supervise a construction site and conduct regular inspections in order to ensure the work being performed is done safely. These regulations are intended to protect both employees, construction workers and laborers, and regular people who may be passing by a construction site. When general contractors fail to meet these obligations and someone gets hurt as a result, the injured person may be entitled to compensation. Contractors are typically insured against such claims, and the insurance is there for the injured persons to be compensated.
If you or someone you know has been injured at a construction site, you may be entitled to compensation. Please feel free to contact myself or any attorney from Keches Law Group in regards to a claim arising out of such an accident. Consultation is free, and you pay nothing unless and until a judgment is rendered or a settlement is reached in your case.
By Allen K. Barret