The Passing of Paul Germano

August 23, 2019

MassCOSH releases statements regarding workplace deaths as we are made aware of them. Sadly, yesterday a worker lost their life on the job. By working hard to ensure that the media and the general public are made aware of such a needless loss of life, we seek to shift the tone of how these events are covered. It is our hope that these events will stop being reported as 'freak accidents,' that the media will notice a pattern, and the public will start demanding accountability. Below is our most recent statement.

The Massachusetts Coalition for Occupational Safety & Health (MassCOSH), extends its deepest condolences to the family of National Grid worker Paul Germano, 50, of Dudley, who passed away as a result of injuries he suffered on the job after being struck by a SUV on July 31.
According to reports, Germano was marking a road in Spencer, Massachusetts identifying underground pipes when he was struck by the vehicle and thrown roughly 40 feet.
Germano is the third worker killed by a moving vehicle in 2019. In total, six workers this year have died in transportation-related incidents. In 2018, there were 17 fatal transportation incidents. It was the leading cause of death from dangerous work, contributing to 29% of all worker deaths.
Information on how to properly protect workers like Germano can be found in the Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices (MUTCD), which is published by the Federal Highway Administration. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration refers to the MUTCD for roadway work zone protection for workers. 
The MUTCD suggests that appropriately colored or marked vehicles with high-intensity rotating, flashing, oscillating, or strobe lighting may be used in place of signs to alert drivers that short-term work is being done on the road.  In addition, the MUTCD suggests that work vehicles may be augmented with signs or arrow panels to alert drivers. At the time of the incident, there was no work zone set up, no cones or signs, and there was no police detail present. 
“Our thoughts and prayers are with the family of Paul, yet another person who went to work like any other day and never came back home,” said MassCOSH Executive Director Jodi Sugerman-Brozan. “We know that working around vehicles is very dangerous and we implore all employers to take the time to create as safe a worksite as they possibly can to protect the lives of those who work for them. Many times it can seem excessive, yet we have seen too many lives lost because corners have been cut short.”