Boston Police and the US Occupational Safety and Health Administration are investigating a June 9 early morning construction accident that killed a worker in Boston’s Seaport district— the latest in a spate of fatalities at worksites across the city's metro area during the past 18 months.
The worker, whose name and employer have not been disclosed, was pronounced dead at the scene of the accident at 65 Northern Ave. after police responded to a 5:36 a.m. call, according to local news reports. Another person was taken to the hospital to be evaluated, The Boston Globe reported.
An OSHA spokesperson confirmed the agency is also at the scene, but could provide no additional details.
The address in question is in the middle of a booming stretch of waterfront, with construction taking place on a number of different projects.
The accident involved curbstones that were being dropped off at a storage area, according to the Globe. Jeff Newton, a spokesman for MassCOSH, an advocacy group for workplace safety, told the Globe that the victim was working "around the unloading of street curbing material when the heavy blocks became loose and crushed him.”
The death comes two weeks after a National Grid worker was electrocuted and three police officers injured on May 26 in a work accident in nearby Medford, Mass.
It also occurred a month after the May 4 collapse of a catwalk in a defunct 124-year-old power plant building in South Boston that sent three workers to the hospital. A wall collapsed during demolition work on the Edison Power Plant in South Boston landed on one worker’s legs and lower body, leaving him with life-threatening injuries.
The contractor on the project, Suffolk Construction, later issued a safety stand down on all projects in Boston following a second incident a day later in which a work fell 30 ft at a construction site in the city’s South End neighborhood.
In response to the latest serious construction accident, Boston Mayor Michelle Wu called on contractors to redouble their safety efforts.
“These large construction sites are incredibly complex and risky situations all the time,” Wu said, according to The Boston Globe. “And so we need to ensure that all of the contractors and all of the entities involved, first and foremost, are adhering to safety protocols for workers. Every bit of care that’s going into making sure your buildings are safe for the eventual customers or employees or folks who will be using the building later on.”
In late March, a partial collapse of the Government Center parking garage in downtown Boston sent 51-year-old operating engineer Peter Monsini of South Easton plunging nine stories to his death. He was working to dismantlie a section of the sprawling 1960s era Brutalist-style garage, which developer HYM Investment Group has been taking apart piecemeal during the last few years to make way for new towers.
The Government Center garage collapse remains under investigation by federal OSHA inspectors and local officials.
In a 14-month span leading up to early May, five construction workers had been killed in Boston and surrounding communities on various construction sites.
The fatalities include an employee of an ironworks company who tumbled six stories down a stairwell shaft at a construction site in East Boston, a worker killed by a collapsing stairwell in an East Cambridge parking garage, and two Atlantic Coast Utilities employees who died after being knocked into a 9-foot-deep trench at a worksite in Boston’s Financial District.