Workers Union Honors Connecticut Workplace Accident Victims

Groton, Connecticut is home to a memorial garden dedicated to those who have been killed or severely injured while on the job.  A major workers union, AFL-CIO, one of the largest in the nation, has designated April 28th as Workers’ Memorial Day.  This year members of the union joined friends and families in honoring Connecticut’s on the job accident victims.

Dennis Popp, Mayor of Groton, was on hand to offer sympathy and pay his respects.

“We remember those who have given their lives at work and those who didn’t come home or didn’t come home the way they left,” said Mayor Popp.

In one of the most violent work related incidents in Connecticut history, a disgruntled employee shot and killed eight workers at Hartford Distributors.  The gunfire wounded two others.  Just one month earlier two firefighters died while responding to a house fire in Bridgeport.

This year’s memorial garden ceremony honored the fallen workers and highlighted an important issue for Connecticut workers and the union.  Worker safety is incredibly important to both groups and many believe that increased safety legislation would help prevent on the job injuries and deaths.

The staff and attorneys of the workers compensation firm of Glass, Lebovitz, Kasheta & Bren would like to extend our deepest condolences to the families of those who have lost their lives on the job.


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Youth Officers in Middletown, CT Suffer High Rate of On the Job Injury

Youth service officers at the Connecticut Juvenile Training School in Middletown, CT are reportedly suffering higher on the job injury rates than prison workers and state police.  Currently, 26 workers are out of work on workers compensation claims, most of these stemming from workplace violence.  The staff members are taking steps to try and expand the amount of force they can use when the boys at the school become violent.

Over 100 boys are currently in the school, which is a treatment facility for boys ages 12-17.  The boys have been designated as delinquent and are in CJTS to learn and become more productive members of society.

However, workers are concerned that their safety is at risk each time a boy becomes violent.  They are limited as far as restraining the boys or dealing with behavioral problems.  However, the superintendent of CJTS, William Rosenbeck, believes that the boys in the facility can be handled using less violent methods.

Currently CJST officers are required to use the Safe Crisis Management system, which implements practices such as verbal interventions, guiding a child away from the scene or placing them in different standing or sitting positions.  He reminds workers that they are dealing with children, not adults.

Our Connecticut workers compensation attorneys hope that an agreement can be reached and that the officers are able to perform their job without fear of injury.


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Bolton Lakes Sewer Project Under Fair Wage Investigation

An official investigation into the payroll practices of two Connecticut construction businesses has been announced.  The Labor Management Foundation for Fair Contracting of Connecticut has requested that the Connecticut Department of Labor investigate two firms that have been working on the multi-year Bolton Lakes Sewer Project in Bolton, CT.

Fuss & O’Neill, of Manchester, CT and Simcroft-Echo Farms, based out of Simsbury, CT, have been working on the large scale construction project for some time.  The concern is that the companies have not been providing fair wages and benefits to their employees.  Concerns were also raised over an on the job accident in which a construction worker was injured when a Bobcat backed over him on the Rt. 44 construction site.

Charles LeConche is the business manager of the Connecticut Laborers’ District Council.  He has concerns that he hopes will be addressed by the upcoming investigation.

“I would just like to make sure all workers on Bolton Lakes Sewer Project are paid according to all prevailing wage laws.  We need to make sure the job worksite is safe and that all quality construction standards are strictly followed on a daily basis,” said LeConche.

Our workers compensation attorneys will be following this story closely.  Workers rights are crucial to every employee in Connecticut and we are glad to see that this case of possible wage and safety violations is being taken seriously.


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Injured Worker Wins Against Connecticut Railroad Company

A “whistleblower” is a worker who reports their employer for safety violations or an on the job injury.  Though there should’t be negative connotations or repercussions attached to so called whistleblowing, the U.S. Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) investigates thousands of whistleblower cases each year.

Recently, OSHA levied serious punishments and fines against the Connecticut railroad company, Metro North Commuter Railroad Co.  The rail yard, based out of New Haven, Conn., was found to have retaliated against an employee after he reported an on the job injury.  OSHA found that the company violated the whistleblower provisions of the Federal Railroad Safety Act when they disciplined the employee for reporting his injury.

Marthe Kent is OSHA’s New England regional administrator and she recently spoke about OSHA’s findings.

“Taking repeated disciplinary action against an employee who exercised his legal right to report an on-the-job injury and voiced a complaint about retaliatory treatment by his employer is unconscionable.”

OSHA has ordered the railroad company to both pay the worker $80,500 in damages and attorney fees and to take corrective actions to expunge disciplinary actions and references to the worker from company records.

The workers compensation lawyers at Glass, Lebovitz, Kasheta & Bren hope that workers in Connecticut will continue to come forward when they have been injured or endangered on the job.


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Workers Compensation Rates Skyrocket in Connecticut

Connecticut employers are facing dramatic workers compensation insurance rate hikes.  The increases were proposed by the National Council on Compensation Insurance and approved by state insurance regulators and will take place January 1.  Though average policy increases will be 5.8 percent, some will see increases of 31 percent.

Lori Pelletier is the secretary-treasurer with the Connecticut AFL-CIO.  Last legislative session her organization lobbied for the creation for a nonprofit workers compensation insurance company.  However, the bill that supported the state chartered mutual insurance company died in the House.  Pelletier, and others such as Sen. Joseph Crisco, will be pushing to try the bill again after the first of the year.

“Absolutely we are going to pursue it,” said Pelletier.  “It makes business sense.”

Proponents of a new bill believe that the creation of a competing workers compensation insurance company in Connecticut would bring down insurance costs by increasing competition in the market.  The state plan would, hopefully, bring down costs for businesses, allowing them to expand and offer better benefits to their employees.

Connecticut workers’ compensation is intended to help injured workers pay for medical care and rehabilitation costs.  Loss of wages, both temporary and permanent, should also be covered by workers comp.

As workers compensation attorneys in Connecticut we will be carefully watching any developments in this story and will bring you updates as they occur.


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Stamford, CT Scrap Yard Worker Injured on the Job

The Connecticut Division of Occupational Health and Safety (OSHA) is investigating an on the job accident in Stamford, CT.  The accident occurred when a worker at a local scrap yard was hit on the head while on a conveyor at the yard.

The man was treated for a facial laceration.  Though he was wearing a hard hat at the time, his face was not protected from the blow.  Fellow workers immediately stepped in and provided basic first aid to the worker.  Stamford Fire & Rescue Captain Patrick Tripodi said that the workers did the right thing in their basic treatment of the man.

“His co-workers did a good job,” Tripodi stated. “They kept him still and didn’t try and pick him up or bring him down. That is one thing we encourage.”

Stamford Fire and Rescue had to strap the injured worker to a rescue stretcher to immobilize him before lowering him to the ground using a combination of ropes and ladders.

According to Tripodi the man seemed confused when firefighters arrived on the scene.  Confusion in an injury victim can sometimes be attributed to a head injury.

The workers compensation attorneys at Glass, Lebovitz, Kasheta & Bren hope that the injured worker is well on his way to making a full recovery from his injuries.


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Four Workers Injured in New Haven, CT Construction Accident

The construction site of a Yale University chiller plant in New Haven, Ct is now the site of an official investigation by the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration(OSHA).  The accident occurred as two workers were inside a mechanical lift, working on the construction of the building.  A large I-beam fell onto the workers and the lift, causing them to fall to the ground.

According to Assistant Fire Chief Ralph Black, “it was unclear if the other two injured workers were somewhere elevated in the structure and fell to the ground with the beam falling on top of them or they were on the ground when the collapse happened.”

Four workers were injured during the collapse, one being pinned under the beam from his knees to his hips.  Crushing injuries were apparent and rescue workers employed high-pressure air bags and other lifting equipment to free him from the wreckage.

The other three workers suffered serious injuries as well, to include broken bones, crushing injuries and potential internal injuries.  However, all four were conscious and alert as they were taken away by emergency medical personnel.


The staff and attorneys at Glass, Lebovitz, Kasheta & Bren hope that all of the workers are on their way to making full recoveries from their injuries.


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One Worker Seriously Injured During Milford, CT Construction Accident

A construction worker was seriously injured when the trench he was working in collapsed without warning.  The accident occurred in Milford, CT along Mayflower Place.

A crew from Ralph Camputaro & Son Excavating was working on a large sewer project on contract with the city when the accident occurred.  The men were doing sewer and storm drainage work when the 20-foot-deep trench unexpectedly collapsed.  The collapse caused a metal support beam to come loose, hitting one worker on the head.

It took fire crews, along with the help of fellow construction workers, 30 minutes to extract the injured worker from the trench.  The man was taken to Yale-New Haven Hospital where he is being treated for serious head, neck and back injuries.  Hospital personnel report that the injuries were non-life threatening.

As with any serious on the job accident or injury, officials from the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) will be launching a full investigation.  The government agency will be looking to see what, if anything could have been done to avoid the accident.

The workers compensation attorneys at Glass, Lebovitz, Kasheta & Bren hope that the injured worker is well on his way to making a full recovery.


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Two Connecticut Workers File Lawsuit After Construction Accident

Recently a construction accident along Interstate 95 in Connecticut seriously injured two workers.  The accident occurred with the steel rebar that had been set up to aid in a major construction project collapsed, pinning one worker and injuring a second.

An attorney for the injured men stated that, “It was a steel cage that was 30 feet long by 26 feet high made with steel rods that weighed many tons.”

Crush injuries are common on construction sites, along with falls from a height.  Employers and supervisors must work to prevent such accidents from occurring.  Safety measures must be in place that protect workers from such serious, even catastrophic accidents.

The pinned worker, Fernando Fernandez, was seriously injured.  The other worker, Antonio DeJesus, rode the structure to the ground and was also injured.  According to the construction workers and their lawyer the lawsuit, which asserts that the company failed to keep an important safety cable attached, has been filed to compensate for the workers’ injuries and to protect the workers in the future.


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Condo Collapses in Norfolk, Conn.- Several Workers Injured

A large explosion, followed by a fireball and plume of smoke and dust, virtually flattened a condo on Norfolk, Conn.  The condo, part of the Village at River’s Edge 55 and over community, was under construction when the blast occurred.  Though there is no official cause of the explosion it has been reported that workers were installing a propane heating system at the time.

At least one worker was badly burned during the explosion.  Firefighters found a second worker trapped under piles of debris.  The fire fighters were going through the wreckage when they heard a voice.  After an hour of digging they were able to free the worker.  He was taken by ambulance to a Boston hospital.

According to Fire Marshal Stephan Coan there were a total of five people injured in the explosion.   First responders called the scene “sheer chaos”.  The blast was powerful enough to flatten the building, tear vinyl siding off of a house across the street and was felt at offices up to a mile away.


The workers compensation attorneys at Glass, Lebovitz, Kasheta & Bren hope that all injured workers are on their way to making a complete recovery from their injuries.


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