Worker Dies While Setting Up For First Night Celebration

A Sherborn man setting up the stage for First Night activities in Copley Square died on Saturday, Dec. 28, when a 3,500-pound ballast fell on him while he was setting up for the event.

Brandon McSweeney, 34, was working for United Staging & Rigging when the accident happened, and the MassCOSH organization alleged that the ballast wasn’t property secured to a forklift when it fell on the man around 9:45 a.m.

He was pronounced dead on the way to the hospital.

“Too many men and women go to work, never to come home because many still view fatal hazards as an unavoidable part of working,” said MassCOSH Executive Director Jodi Sugerman-Brozan. “We expect that these employers who bear the full responsibility for keeping their employees safe on the job will cooperate with all investigations and not seek to contest OSHA findings and fines surrounding the loss of these men.”

Two moments of silence were expected to be held at First Night for McSweeney, one in the morning and one in the evening.

First Night Boston 2020 Tweeted on Monday that the moments of silence would be held.

“On Saturday, while helping with event set-up, Brandon McSweeney was killed in a tragic accident,” read the Tweet. “The talented and loving man from Sherborn is remembered fondly by all who knew him. (On Dec. 31), we’ll remember Brandon with moments of silence at 11:30 a.m. and 6 p.m. We invite you to join us.”

MassCOSH said to date, there have been 47 worker deaths in 2019, but the number could be higher as the state Department of Public Heath confirms additional work-related fatalities. In 2018, there were 21 workers that died in construction-related events. That year, the construction industry saw the greatest number of fatal workplace injuries by sector.

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