Fatal Rhode Island Construction Accident Highlights Risks Workers Face

Personal Injury Lawyers

A 45-year-old construction worker was killed earlier this month when he was struck by falling equipment on a construction site in Warwick’s Apponaug section. The tragic accident underscores the dangers of construction work, which is the most deadly industry in the country.

Paulo Matos of Fall River, Mass., was fatally injured shortly before 2 a.m. on Nov. 12 when a piece of large construction equipment fell on him, according to the Providence Journal. Matos, who worked for AGI Construction of Smithfield, was transported to and pronounced dead at Rhode Island Hospital.

The deadly accident occurred at Apponaug Four Corners, at the intersection of Post and Centerville roads. A state contract worker, Matos was involved in the three-year, $30 million project to redesign the roadways around City Hall, the Providence Journal reported.

Mark Albert, President and CEO of AGI, released a statement (republished by WPRI.com) about Matos’s death, saying, “We at AGI are deeply saddened and extremely distraught over the death of our employee and friend. Our prayers and deepest condolences go out to his family and friends. He was a hard worker and wonderful friend to many here at AGI and he will be greatly missed.”

Accident Corresponds with Workplace Injury Trends

NBC News 10 reported that it searched for AGI Construction in the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) database and found a single complaint from the past year at a Newport jobsite. No OSHA violations were reported for that incident, however.

According to OSHA, fall protection – a category that includes protection from falling objects – was the most frequently cited violation in FY 2014 (Oct. 1, 2013 – Sept. 30, 2014).

OSHA is still investigating the Nov. 12 Warwick incident. It has six months to file a report.

According to the most recent OSHA statistics, the construction industry had the highest number of fatal work accidents of any industry in 2013. Last year, 796 deadly work accidents (9.4 per 100,000 full-time workers) occurred in construction.

Across all industries in 2013, 717 fatal work injuries (16 percent of all fatal work injuries) occurred due to contact with objects and equipment. That includes 245 workers who were struck by falling objects or equipment, which was the second-leading cause of worker deaths on construction sites and is one of OSHA’s so-called “Fatal Four” (along with falls, electrocutions and caught in/between).

The Rhode Island personal injury attorneys at Marasco & Nesselbush provide free case reviews to victims of construction accidents and their families. Call us at 855-801-6262 or fill out a contact form to set up a free legal consultation. We have four offices located in Providence, Wakefield, Warwick, and Woonsocket to easily serve you.