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Massachusetts Observes Workers’ Memorial Day in Honor of Employees Killed in Workplace Accidents

In April, the 62 Massachusetts employees who were killed on the job during the preceding 16 months were recognized as part of an annual Workers’ Memorial Day. Each year, Workers’ Memorial Day is observed around the anniversary of the date that the nation’s Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970 was passed. According to the Executive Director of the National Council for Occupational Safety and Health (“COSH”), Mary Vogel, most of the work-related fatalities that occurred throughout the Commonwealth last year were preventable. Vogel stated proper safety precautions and procedures are vital components for avoiding tragic workplace deaths in Massachusetts and nationwide.

Last year, about 4,500 individuals across the United States were killed in a workplace accident. Vogel said this number was unfortunately consistent after years of steadily declining employee work-related death rates. Another COSH official, Mike Florio, believes businesses can save both lives and money by naming a workplace Health and Safety Officer whose job it is to ensure that unsafe working environments are addressed. Florio stated such a position may save companies time and workers’ compensation bills as well.

West Springfield, Massachusetts hired its first Safety Officer after a 62-year-old crossing guard was killed by an automobile in 2014. In the coming months, the City’s Mayor hopes to add a labor management safety council to West Springfield’s roster as well. Other individuals honored at the 2015 Workers’ Memorial Day included a truck driver, bus driver, and numerous firefighters. In addition, 10 Massachusetts workers were killed in a fall accident, seven died due to an equipment incident, and two sustained fatal injuries in a fire and explosion.

The Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970 created the United States Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (“OSHA”) in an attempt to decrease workplace injuries and deaths across the country. Under the Act, employers are required to comply with certain safety-related laws and regulations, such as providing employees with proper training, information about safety risks and hazards, and copies of safety test results. Employers must also supply individuals with a working environment that is reasonably free of preventable safety hazards. When a severe on the job accident occurs, OSHA will typically investigate whether an employer complied with established safety standards.

If you were injured or someone close to you was killed in a Boston workplace accident, contact the caring workers’ compensation lawyers at Kantrovitz & Associates, P.C. to help you seek the benefits you may be entitled to. To discuss your rights under the Massachusetts workers’ compensation law in more detail, call Kantrovitz & Associates, P.C. today at 800-367-0871 or contact us online.

Additional Resources:

2015 Workers’ Memorial Day recognizes 62 Massachusetts residents killed on the job, by Jim Kinney,

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