Two Boston construction site workers were tragically killed earlier today in downtown Boston. While all such catastrophic events and the resulting tragedies are difficult to describe, this one was especially awful.
According to multiple news media reports, including Boston25 News, the two construction workers – Jordan Romero from Lynn and his co-worker Carlos Gutierrez of Chelsea, were killed in a trench accident apparently caused by a dump truck. The 20-foot deep trench at the site collapsed into itself after the dump truck apparently came too close to it, and caused the trench to collapse. When the trench collapsed, the truck then fell into it. From information available as of this evening, it is not exactly clear at this point whether the two construction site workers were already in the trench when it collapsed, or were possibly thrown into the trench first after the truck hit them. In either event, reports are that the event was horrific. It may be that the men died of suffocation, possibly buried alive. It is too soon to say at this point.
As a Boston construction site accident lawyer, I’ve seen too many of these awful incidents – involving catastrophic, life-long injuries and disabilities, and death. And they shouldn’t happen. While some might say, “Accidents happen. What are you going to do? They can’t be prevented”, that is not true. They can be prevented, and they should be prevented. Multiple levels of government – the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), the state of Massachusetts and in this case, the City of Boston as well – provide regulations, minimum safety standards and safety protocols for construction sites – and they are designed to prevent tragedies like this. When those safety procedures and protocols are not followed to the letter, incidents like this awful tragedy today are what can, and do, result. So no, these events are almost never the kind that “couldn’t be prevented” – in the many cases I’ve successfully represented as a Massachusetts construction site fatality attorney, they almost always could have been prevented.