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'Big Gap Of Workers And Incidents,' Safety Inspectors Can't Keep Up With Construction Accidents In Massachusetts

BOSTON (CBS) - Suffolk Construction voluntarily stopped work at all of its projects in Boston through Friday after three workers were hurt in a horrific accident Wednesday.

There was another accident Thursday at a project in the South End, where a worker fell about 30 feet.

The incidents are putting a new spotlight on worker safety. Boston construction workers say it's always on their minds on the edges of some of the most risky work in the city.

"Just constant awareness where you're stepping, everything, where your lifeline is," a worker told WBZ-TV.

This week's incidents come on the heels of a fatal garage collapse in Government Center in March.

"There is this big gap of workers and incidents that either aren't being reported or aren't being investigated," Al Vega, a safety advocate with the Massachusetts Coalition for Occupational Safety and Health (MASSCOSH), told WBZ-TV.

The agency came up with this startling statistic.

There are 38 OSHA inspectors in Massachusetts, roughly one for every 91,210 workers. At the rate OSHA conducted inspections last year, it would take 169 years for OSHA to pay a single visit to each workplace in the state.

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(WBZ-TV graphic)

"In 2021 I think there were 52 worker deaths that were reported to OSHA and they were only able to send out, complete 38 inspections," Vega said.

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