Somerville, MA – Work at the sprawling Assembly Row construction site in Somerville remains temporarily frozen following last week’s accident when two Suffolk Construction workers were installing a temporary elevator claimed one Suffolk Construction laborer’s life and left another with severe injuries. The workers were later rushed by ambulance to Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, where one of the workers was later pronounced dead.
Sources familiar with the matter said all construction at the mixed-use project has been suspended as federal officials from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration and the Massachusetts Department of Public Safety formally investigate the accident site.
A Suffolk Construction spokeswoman said the company’s senior-leadership team in Massachusetts, including New England Region President Angus Leary, also was on site to assist in answering questions, and to alleviate concerns among the 150-to-200 workers it employs at Assembly Row.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there were 4,585 workplace deaths reported in the United States in 2013, the most-recent reporting year available. Approximately 79 percent of those accidents affected salaried employees, and 93 percent of the workers who died were men. Nearly half — 1,968 out of the 4,585 deaths reported in 2013 — involved workers between the ages of 35 and 54 years, and 68 percent of those killed on the job were white.
Among U.S. states, Massachusetts ranked 30th with 57 reported deaths in 2013. Texas was No. 1 with 508, while Vermont ranked last with seven.