Every year, Massachusetts families and organizations come together to honor the men and women who are killed and injured while on the job. This year, on April 28, the Massachusetts Coalition for Occupational Safety and Health (MassCOSH), the Massachusetts AFL-CIO, and the Greater Boston Labor Council are co-sponsoring Workers’ Memorial Day and are publishing the 2011 report: Dying for Work in Massachusetts: Loss of Life and Limb in Massachusetts Workplaces.
“It is critical that Massachusetts employers improve the safety of their workplaces to protect their workers. The high rate of death and injury on the jobsite is still taking a horrible toll on Massachusetts workers and their families. It is also unfortunate that enforcement continues to suffer budget cuts,” said Boston personal injury lawyer David White.
As stated in this sobering report, its purpose is to “highlight the fact that work continues to kill and maim workers in epidemic and alarming numbers. The saddest aspect to this loss in lives and limbs is that work-related injuries and illness are preventable.”
The report describes in clear detail the tragedy facing Massachusetts workers and their families. In 2010 alone, 47 Massachusetts workers lost their lives while on the job. (Breakstone, White and Gluck has the privilege and honor of representing the family of one of these deceased workers in their claim for his pain and suffering and wrongful death while on the job.)
The top three causes of fatalities among Massachusetts workers in 2010 were transportation (12 deaths: drivers or workers on roads involved in motor vehicle accidents and plane/helicopter crashes), falls (9 deaths: half being construction site accidents), and commercial fishing (4 deaths).
On Workers’ Memorial Day, we honor the fallen by demanding stronger workplace health and safety protections under the Occupational Health & Safety Administration, because it is every person’s right to be safe in their own work environment.
Join us on Thursday April 28, 2011 from 12:15 to 1:15 p.m. outside the Massachusetts State House as we mourn for the dead and fight for the living.
Breakstone, White & Gluck is a proud sponsorof MassCOSH, an organization with a great reputation for protecting workers and improving workplace safety.
Massachusetts has banned the commercial use and sale of lacquer sealer, a highly flammable wood floor finishing product linked to deadly home fires.
Gov. Deval Patrick signed the safety bill into law this week. The bill had strong support from MassCOSH (the Massachusetts Coalition for Occupational Safety and Health), which convened a Floor Finishing Safety Task Force to investigate the problem.
The task force was convened after a 2004 house fire in Somerville claimed the lives of two Vietnamese floor sanders and burned their co-workers. Shortly after, a Vietnamese flooring contractor died in a Hull house fire. Both fires involved the use of lacquer sealer used in floor finishing.
“This groundbreaking law will save lives and end floor finishing fires that have caused so much pain and destruction,” said Marcy Goldstein-Gelb, executive director of MassCOSH. “We owe a great deal of thanks to the Governor and Legislature for recognizing these grave dangers and taking action to protect workers and residents.”
Following the three fatal fires, the Floor Finishing Safety Task Force issued a 2005 report stating Boston had seen 25 fires involving lacquer sealer over the 10 previous years and Needham had seen two in the prior year that threatened worker safety.
In the 2005 report, the task force recommended the state promote use of non-flammable water-based finishers to protect Massachusetts worker safety and prevent worker deaths.
The task force observed the problem of flammable lacquer sealer was targeting Massachusetts’ Vietnamese community, which has a large concentration of workers in the floor finishing industry.
The bill proposing the ban was jointly filed by state Rep. Martin Walsh and Sen. Patricia Jehlen.
Breakstone, White & Gluck of Boston is a supporter of MassCOSH and its work to protect Massachusetts construction workers and other employees.
To learn more, visit the MassCOSH website.