The man who died working on the Grace Apartments project on Sumner Street has been identified as Fernando Augusto Rafael Da Silva, a husband and father of two.
Da Silva, a Brazilian national who had been living in the US for the past three years, died last Wednesday after falling down a six-story stairwell shaft at the construction site. He was working the Woburn-based Evolution Iron Works when the accident occured.
Da Silva’s death is under investigation by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), the Massachusetts Coalition for Occupational Safety & Health (MassCOSH) and Suffolk District Attorney Rachael Rollins office.
Evolution was a subcontractor for Rhode Island based New England Construction and contracted by the East Boston Community Development Corporation (EBCDC) to build 42 units of affordable senior housing at 187 Sumner St. The city and EBCDC broke ground on the Grace Apartments in December 2020.
“A loss of life affects us all. We have been in business for nearly four decades and this was the first time we have experienced such a loss,” said President and CEO of New England Construction in a statement. “We will re-review our safety protocols and policies, and continue to make health and safety a priority.”
MassCOSH in a statement said, “The death of a construction worker in East Boston is a tragic reminder of how dangerous the construction industry can be and that employers must take every precaution to protect workers from numerous hazards on the job, especially falls.”
According to the MassCOSH report, Dying for Work in Massachusetts in 2020, construction was the second most hazardous industry for workers with construction deaths accounting for 18 percent of the 45 workers fatally injured on the job, even though many construction sites were fully shut down for months as a pandemic precaution.
“Our thoughts are with his family, friends and the larger East Boston worker community during this incredibly difficult time,” said MassCOSH Director of Policy and Programs Al Vega. “With falls being an all-too-common way in which workers are severely injured or killed, it is urgent for all employers to keep their employees who work at heights at all worksites safe by always using fall prevention systems that have proven to stem needless loss of life on the job.”
A GoFundMe page was launched last Thursday by Da Silva’s wife, Angela. Angela is asking for donations so Da Silva’s body can be transported back to Brazil for burial. The page can be foound at https://www.gofundme.com/f/fazer-traslado-do-corpo-para-brasil and has rasied $21,020 as of Tuesday