BOSTON – Every year the health and safety authority publishes a list of the ten most violated regulations. And for 2021, the eleventh year in a row, âFall Protection – General Requirementsâ topped the list with 5,295 violations – well ahead of the second most frequently violated regulation, âRespiratory protectionâ with 2,527 violations.
The list was published a week after Fernando Rafael Augusto Da Silva was overthrown at a construction site on Sumner Street in East Boston. The cause of this fall is not clear. While OSHA is investigating, work on the 42-unit apartment building has been discontinued.
On Thursday, MassCOSH, a local labor safety organization, and others held a vigil / protest in honor of Da Silva outside Maverick Square train station.
“In Massachusetts, we lose between 50 and 70 workers a year to workplace tragedy,” said Jodi Sugerman-Brozan, executive director of MassCOSH. “Often times, these tragedies are the result of compromises, or lack of proper training, or lack of proper health and safety precautions.”
Sugerman-Brozan said the sad thing, then, is that almost all of these so-called work-related accidents are preventable.
âIt’s a very sad day,â she said. “And it’s not the last time, unfortunately.”
Construction worker Dominic Desiata also took part in the vigil. He spoke to the crowd about the large number of major projects he sees in the city. “Whether I’m working on them or someone I know works on them or lives near them, I hear more and more about death.”
According to Desiata, construction sites have inherent hazards that require community support for safety. “There are sharp edges, there are heavy things, there is serious equipment,” he said.
There are also many, many injuries that the public never knows about, Sugerman-Brozan said. And she said there is often retaliation against employees who speak up against employers who violate OSHA standards.
It’s illegal, she noted. But it happens.
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