Tragedy struck yesterday in Cambridge, Massachusetts when a construction worker at MIT was killed, and two more were injured. First and foremost, our thoughts are with the families and loved ones of the victims of this tragedy. Any time there is a death, particularly one where a person is working to provide for their family, it is very much a human story. The victims in this case had families and friends, and these people are experiencing a terrible loss.
As for this particular accident, preliminary reports indicate that the workers on MIT’s campus were hit by falling support beams. Being struck by a falling object falls within what OSHA identifies as the “Fatal Four:” falls, struck by object, electrocutions, and caught-in/between. These four types of accidents make up a large percentage of the injuries and deaths suffered on construction sites.
If the family of the victims here pursue a civil case, they will likely bring two (2) simultaneous cases. The first is a workers compensation case. When a worker is injured, the worker has no choice but to file a workers compensation case, as health insurance will not pay medical bills. The workers compensation insurer will pay 75% of that worker’s wages while they are out, and will pay medical bills as well. In a case like this where there was a fatality, the comp insurer will also pay a death benefit to the family.