NEEDHAM (CBS) – This time the worker survived, but falls like the one that happened at a Needham construction site Friday are the number one cause of workplace deaths in Massachusetts. “He was on a piece of steel and fell into the pit,” said Needham Fire Chief Dennis Condon.
The drop was 15 to 20 feet down. Technical rescue crews didn’t have to go far. The worker was helping to construct part of their own Needham public safety complex. Boston sent help too. “We had to strap him into a stretcher and use ropes to pull him out,” said Condon.READ MORE: NH Youth Baseball Team Forced To Cancel Trip To Cooperstown Over COVID Vaccine Requirement
It’s the third construction accident making headlines in Massachusetts in the last two weeks. Wednesday in Cambridge, a stairwell collapsed in a parking garage, killing one worker, and critically injuring another. Last week, two workers were killed in Boston when they were hit by a truck and knocked into a hole.
“Almost all of these tragedies, whether someone is injured or dies, are preventable,” said MassCOSH Excecutive Director Jodi Sugarman-Brozan. She and other workplace safety advocates say there aren’t enough government inspectors to check up on so many construction projects.READ MORE: Governor Says J & J Pause Will Not Significantly Impact Massachusetts Vaccination Schedule
WBZ found 25 inspections in the last five years at sites run by Consigli, in charge of the Needham project. Fourteen of them were in Massachusetts. While there have been complaints, there is no history of violations.
“There’s one inspector for every 100,000-105,000 workers, so obviously we don’t have nearly the capacity to ensure that workplaces are safe,” said Sugarman-Brozan.MORE NEWS: Keller @ Large: How Madoff's Fraud Was A Harbinger Of Future Scams, Conspiracies
OSHA responded to the Needham site Friday. The injured worker is employed by a subcontractor under Consigli called Solberg Precast and Concrete Cutting.