Urban construction and demolition work can be extremely dangerous for workers and the public. The use of heavy equipment, the risk of falling, as well as environmental hazards can place people in the vicinity of a construction project at risk. As economic development and gentrification continue to change the landscape of many Boston neighborhoods, the dangers of hurried construction projects could continue to increase. A Boston-area news source recently discussed a building collapse at a former South Boston power plant which left three workers injured.
According to the facts discussed in the news report, the former Edison Power Plant in South Boston has been undergoing demolition, as the area is being developed into an economic zone that includes offices, residences, a hotel, and many restaurants and businesses. Earlier this month, construction crews were performing the demolition when a portion of flooring above the workers collapsed. Three workers were trapped below. Two of the workers escaped relatively easily, but the third was buried in the rubble. After an “extensive extraction operation” which included over 100 firefighters, the third worker was removed and transported to a hospital with life-threatening injuries.
Seeking recourse for workplace injuries can be a difficult and complicated endeavor. Most Massachusetts employers are required to carry workers’ compensation insurance to cover the medical expenses and partial lost wages related to an employee’s injury on the job. While the workers’ compensation coverage can be beneficial to an injured employee, such coverage is not designed to compensate injured employees for all of their losses related to an injury on the job.